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Name: Fernandez, Meriam Consuelo B.

Section: EH 406

Case Title: MANOLO P. SAMSON, petitioner, vs. HON. REYNALDO B. DAWAY, in his capacity as Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 90, PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and CATERPILLAR, INC., respondents. (G.R. Nos. 160054-55, July 21, 2004)

Facts: The petitioner, owner/proprietor of ITTI Shoes/Mano Shoes Manufactuirng Corporation, allegedly sold or offers the sale of garment product using the trademark Caterpillar to the prejudice of Caterpillar, Inc., private respondent in this case. The respondent filed the case with the RTC. The petitioner questioned the jurisdiction of the trial court over the offense charged contending that the case should be filed with the MTC because violation of unfair competition is penalized with imprisonment not exceeding 6 years under RA 7691.

Issue: Which court has jurisdiction over criminal and civil cases for violation of intellectual property rights?

Ruling of the Court: The SC held that under Section 163 of the IPC, actions for unfair competition shall be brought before the proper courts with appropriate jurisdiction under existing laws. The law contemplated in Section 163 of IPC is RA 166 otherwise known as the Trademark Law. Section 27 of the Trademark Law provides that jurisdiction over cases for infringement of registered marks, unfair competition, false designation of origin and false description or representation, is lodged with the Court of First Instance (now Regional Trial Court). Since RA 7691 is a general law and IPC in relation to Trademark Law is a special law, the latter shall prevail. Actions for unfair competition therefore should be filed with the RTC.