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LIP 2ND BATCH Tanada v.

Angara Facts On April 15, 1994, the Philippine Government represented by its Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry signed the Final Act binding the Philippine Government to submit to its respective competent authorities the WTO (World Trade Organization) Agreements to seek approval for such. On December 14, 1994, Resolution No. 97 was adopted by the Philippine Senate to ratify the WTO Agreement. This is a petition assailing the constitutionality of the WTO agreement as it violates Sec 19, Article II, providing for the development of a self reliant and independent national economy, and Sections 10 and 12, Article XII, providing for the Filipino first policy. Issue Whether or not the Resolution No. 97 ratifying the WTO Agreement is unconstitutional Ruling The Supreme Court ruled the Resolution No. 97 is not unconstitutional. While the constitution mandates a bias in favor of Filipino goods, services, labor and enterprises, at the same time, it recognizes the need for business exchange with the rest of the world on the bases of equality and reciprocity and limits protection of Filipino interests only against foreign competition and trade practices that are unfair. In other words, the Constitution did not intend to pursue an isolationalist policy. Furthermore, the constitutional policy of a self-reliant and independent national economy does not necessarily rule out the entry of foreign investments, goods and services. It contemplates neither economic seclusion nor mendicancy in the international community. The Senate, after deliberation and voting, gave its consent to the WTO Agreement thereby making it a part of the law of the land. The Supreme Court gave due respect to an equal department in government. It presumes its actions as regular and done in good faith unless there is convincing proof and persuasive agreements to the contrary. As a result, the ratification of the WTO Agreement limits or restricts the absoluteness of sovereignty. A treaty engagement is not a mere obligation but creates a legally binding obligation on the parties. A state which has contracted valid international obligations is bound to make its legislations such modifications as may be necessary to ensure the fulfillment of the obligations undertaken.



FACTS: On June 15, 1970, one Lolita Escobar, the predecessor-in-interest of petitioner Pribhdas J. Mirpuri, filed an application with the Bureau of Patents for the registration of the trademark "Barbizon" for use in brassieres and ladies undergarments. Escobar alleged that she had been manufacturing and selling these products under the firm name "L & BM Commercial" since March 3, 1970. Private respondent Barbizon Corporation, a corporation organized and doing business under the laws of New York, U.S.A., opposed the application. It claimed that: The mark BARBIZON of respondent-applicant is confusingly similar to the trademark BARBIZON which opposer owns and has not abandoned. That opposer will be damaged by the registration of the mark BARBIZON and its business reputation and goodwill will suffer great and irreparable injury. That the respondent-applicant's use of the said mark BARBIZON which resembles the trademark used and owned by opposer, constitutes an unlawful appropriation of a mark previously used in the Philippines ISSUE: whether or not the treaty affords protection to a foreign corporation against a Philippine applicant for the registration of a similar trademark is the principal issue in this case. HELD: Yes. The Convention of Paris for the Protection of Industrial Property, otherwise known as the Paris Convention, is a multilateral treaty that seeks to protect industrial property consisting of patents, utility models, industrial designs, trademarks, service marks, trade names and indications of source or appellations of origin, and at the same time aims to repress unfair competition. 41 The Convention is essentially a compact among various countries which, as members of the Union, have pledged to accord to citizens of the other member countries trademark and other rights comparable to those accorded their own citizens by their domestic laws for an effective protection against unfair competition. 42 In short, foreign nationals are to be given the same treatment in each of the member countries as that country makes available to its own citizens. 43 Nationals of the various member nations are thus assured of a certain minimum of international protection of their industrial property. The Philippines and the United States of America have acceded to the WTO Agreement. This Agreement has revolutionized international business and economic relations among states, and has propelled the world towards trade liberalization and economic globalization. 92 Protectionism and isolationism belong to the past. Trade is no longer confined to a bilateral system. There is now "a new era of global

economic cooperation, reflecting the widespread desire to operate in a fairer and more open multilateral trading system." 93 Conformably, the State must reaffirm its commitment to the global community and take part in evolving a new international economic order at the dawn of the new millenium.


Facts: Respondent corporation applied with the PBPTT for the registration of the "Big Mak" mark for its hamburger sandwiches. McDonald's opposed respondent corporation's application on the ground that "Big Mak" was a colorable imitation of its registered "Big Mac" mark for the same food products. McDonald's also informed respondent Francis Dy ,the chairman of the Board of Directors of respondent corporation, of its exclusive right to the "Big Mac" mark and requested him to desist from using the "Big Mac" mark or any similar mark. Respondents claimed that they are not liable for trademark infringement or for unfair competition, as the "Big Mak" mark they sought to register does not constitute a colorable imitation of the "Big Mac" mark. Respondents asserted that they did not fraudulently pass off their hamburger sandwiches as those of petitioners' Big Mac hamburgers. ISSUE: whether respondents used the words "Big Mak" not only as part of the corporate name "L.C. Big Mak Burger, Inc." but also as a trademark for their hamburger products, and (b) whether respondent corporation is liable for trademark infringement and unfair competition. HELD: To establish trademark infringement, the following elements must be shown: (1) the validity of plaintiff's mark; (2) the plaintiff's ownership of the mark; and (3) the use of the mark or its colorable imitation by the alleged infringer results in "likelihood of confusion."34 Of these, it is the element of likelihood of confusion that is the gravamen of trademark infringement. Respondents contend that of the two words in the "Big Mac" mark, it is only the word "Mac" that is valid because the word "Big" is generic and descriptive (proscribed under Section 4[e]), and thus "incapable of exclusive appropriation."38 The contention has no merit. The "Big Mac" mark, which should be treated in its entirety and not dissected word for word,39 is neither generic nor descriptive. Generic marks are commonly used as the name or description of a kind of goods,40 such as "Lite" for beer41 or "Chocolate Fudge" for chocolate soda drink.42 Descriptive marks, on the other hand, convey the characteristics, functions, qualities or ingredients of a product to one who has never seen it or does not know it exists,43 such as "Arthriticare" for arthritis medication.44 On the contrary, "Big Mac" falls under the class of fanciful or arbitrary marks as it bears no logical relation to the actual characteristics of the product it represents.45 As such, it is highly distinctive and thus valid. Significantly, the trademark "Little Debbie" for snack cakes was found arbitrary or fanciful.46 The Court also finds that petitioners have duly established McDonald's exclusive ownership of the "Big Mac" mark. Although Topacio and the Isaiyas Group registered the "Big Mac" mark ahead of McDonald's, Topacio, as petitioners disclosed, had already assigned his rights to McDonald's. The Isaiyas Group, on the other hand, registered its trademark only in the Supplemental Register. A mark which is not registered in the Principal Register, and thus not distinctive, has no real protection.47 Indeed, we

have held that registration in the Supplemental Register is not even a prima facie evidence of the validity of the registrant's exclusive right to use the mark on the goods specified in the certificate.48






FACTS: Gallo Winerys GALLO wine trademark was registered in the principal register of the Philippine Patent Office (now Intellectual Property Office). Gallo Winery also applied for registration of its ERNEST & JULIO GALLO wine trademark. On the other hand, petitioners Mighty Corporation and La Campana and their sister company, Tobacco Industries of the Philippines (Tobacco Industries), are engaged in the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of tobacco products for which they have been using the GALLO cigarette trademark. Petitioners claim that GALLO cigarettes have been sold in the Philippines since 1973, initially by Tobacco Industries, then by La Campana and finally by Mighty Corporation.15 On the other hand, although the GALLO wine trademark was registered in the Philippines in 1971, respondents claim that they first introduced and sold the GALLO and ERNEST & JULIO GALLO wines in the Philippines circa 1974 within the then U.S. military facilities only. By 1979, they had expanded their Philippine market through authorized distributors and independent outlets.16 Respondents claim that they first learned about the existence of GALLO cigarettes in the latter part of 1992 when an Andresons employee saw such cigarettes on display with GALLO wines in a Davao supermarket wine cellar section.17 Forthwith, respondents sent a demand letter to petitioners asking them to stop using the GALLO trademark, to no avail. ISSUE: WHETHER GALLO cigarettes and GALLO wines were identical, similar or related goods for the reason alone that they were purportedly forms of vice. HELD: Under both the Paris Convention and the Trademark Law, the protection of a registered trademark is limited only to goods identical or similar to those in respect of which such trademark is registered and only when there is likelihood of confusion. Under both laws, the time element in commencing infringement cases is material in ascertaining the registrants express or implied consent to anothers use of its trademark or a colorable imitation thereof. This is why acquiescence, estoppel or laches may defeat the registrants otherwise valid cause of action. Hence, proof of all the elements of trademark infringement is a condition precedent to any finding of liability.







FACTS: private respondent CFC Corporation filed with the BPTTT an application for the registration of the trademark "FLAVOR MASTER" for instant coffee. Petitioner Societe Des Produits Nestle, S.A., a Swiss company registered under Swiss laws and domiciled in Switzerland, filed an unverified Notice of Opposition,3 claiming that the trademark of private respondents product is "confusingly similar to its trademarks for coffee and coffee extracts, to wit: MASTER ROAST and MASTER BLEND." Likewise, a verified Notice of Opposition was filed by Nestle Philippines, Inc., a Philippine corporation and a licensee of Societe Des Produits Nestle S.A., against CFCs application for registration of the trademark FLAVOR MASTER.4 Nestle claimed that the use, if any, by CFC of the trademark FLAVOR MASTER and its registration would likely cause confusion in the trade; or deceive purchasers and would falsely suggest to the purchasing public a connection in the business of Nestle.\ ISSUE: whether the trademark FLAVOR MASTER is a colorable imitation of the trademarks MASTER ROAST and MASTER BLEND. HELD: The term "MASTER", has acquired a certain connotation to mean the coffee products MASTER ROAST and MASTER BLEND produced by Nestle. As such, the use by CFC of the term "MASTER" in the trademark for its coffee product FLAVOR MASTER is likely to cause confusion or mistake or even to deceive the ordinary purchasers. The term "MASTER" is a suggestive term brought about by the advertising scheme of Nestle. Suggestive terms27 are those which, in the phraseology of one court, require "imagination, thought and perception to reach a conclusion as to the nature of the goods." Such terms, "which subtly connote something about the product," are eligible for protection in the absence of secondary meaning. While suggestive marks are capable of shedding "some light" upon certain characteristics of the goods or services in dispute, they nevertheless involve "an element of incongruity," "figurativeness," or " imaginative effort on the part of the observer.




FACTS: "The source of the controversy that precipitated the filing by Cluett Peabody Co., Inc. (a New York corporation) of the present case against Amigo Manufacturing Inc. for cancellation of trademark is a claim of exclusive ownership (as successor in interest of Great American Knitting Mills, Inc.) of the following trademark and devices, as used on men's socks: a) GOLD TOE; b) DEVICE, representation of a sock and magnifying glass on the toe of a sock, c) DEVICE, consisting of a 'plurality of gold colored lines arranged in parallel relation within a triangular area of toe of the stocking and spread from each other by lines of contrasting color d) LINENIZED On the other hand, petitioner's trademark and device 'GOLD TOP, Linenized for Extra Wear' has the dominant color 'white' at the center and a 'blackish brown' background with a magnified design of the sock's garter, and is labeled 'Amigo Manufacturing Inc., Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Made in the Philippines' ISSUE: WHETHER petitioner's trademark [was] confusingly similar to respondent's trademarks. HELD: Petitioner cannot therefore ignore the fact that, when compared, most of the features of its trademark are strikingly similar to those of respondent. In addition, these representations are at the same location, either in the sock itself or on the label. Petitioner presents no explanation why it chose those representations, considering that these were the exact symbols used in respondent's marks. Thus, the overall impression created is that the two products are deceptively and confusingly similar to each other. Clearly, petitioner violated the applicable trademark provisions during that time. A foreign-based trademark owner, whose country of domicile is a party to an international convention relating to protection of trademarks,17 is accorded protection against infringement or any unfair competition as provided in Section 37 of Republic Act 166, the Trademark Law which was the law in force at the time this case was instituted. In sum, petitioner has failed to show any reversible error on the part of the Court of Appeals. Hence, its Petition must fail.



FACTS: On September 15, 1988, San Miguel Corporation (SMC) filed a complaint against Asia Brewery Inc. (ABI) for infringement of trademark and unfair competition on account of the latter's BEER PALE PILSEN or BEER NA BEER product which has been competing with SMC's SAN MIGUEL PALE PILSEN for a share of the local beer market. ISSUE: whether ABI infringes SMC's trademark: San Miguel Pale Pilsen with Rectangular Hops and Malt Design, and thereby commits unfair competition against the latter. HELD: The fact that the words pale pilsen are part of ABI's trademark does not constitute an infringement of SMC's trademark: SAN MIGUEL PALE PILSEN, for "pale pilsen" are generic words descriptive of the color ("pale"), of a type of beer ("pilsen"), which is a light bohemian beer with a strong hops flavor that originated in the City of Pilsen in Czechoslovakia and became famous in the Middle Ages. "Pilsen" is a "primarily geographically descriptive word," hence, non-registerable and not appropriable by any beer manufacturer.






FACTS: Petitioner Societe Des Produits Nestle, S.A. (Nestle) is a foreign corporation organized under the laws of Switzerland. It manufactures food products and beverages. Nestle owns the "NAN" trademark for its line of infant powdered milk products, consisting of PRE-NAN, NAN-H.A., NAN-1, and NAN-2. NAN is classified under Class 6 "diatetic preparations for infant feeding." Nestle distributes and sells its NAN milk products all over the Philippines. It has been investing tremendous amounts of resources to train its sales force and to promote the NAN milk products through advertisements and press releases. Dy, Jr. owns 5M Enterprises. He imports Sunny Boy powdered milk from Australia and repacks the powdered milk into three sizes of plastic packs bearing the name "NANNY." Nestle requested Dy, Jr. to refrain from using "NANNY" and to undertake that he would stop infringing the "NAN" trademark. The issue is whether Dy, Jr. is liable for infringement. HELD: NANNY and NAN have the same classification, descriptive properties and physical attributes. Both are classified under Class 6, both are milk products, and both are in powder form. Also, NANNY and NAN are displayed in the same section of stores the milk section. There are differences between NAN and NANNY: (1) NAN is intended for infants while NANNY is intended for children past their infancy and for adults; and (2) NAN is more expensive than NANNY. However, as the registered owner of the "NAN" mark, Nestle should be free to use its mark on similar products, in different segments of the market, and at different price levels.

The scope of protection afforded to registered trademark owners is not limited to protection from infringers with identical goods. The scope of protection extends to protection from infringers with related goods, and to market areas that are the normal expansion of business of the registered trademark owners



FACTS: Harvard University alleged that in March 2002, it discovered, through its international trademark watch program, Fredcos website The website advertises and promotes the brand name "Harvard Jeans USA" without Harvard Universitys consent. The websites main page shows an oblong logo bearing the mark "Harvard Jeans USA," "Established 1936," and "Cambridge, Massachusetts." On 20 April 2004, Harvard University filed an administrative complaint against Fredco before the IPO for trademark infringement and/or unfair competition with damages.

The issue in this case is whether the Court of Appeals committed a reversible error in affirming the decision of the Office of the Director General of the IPO.

HELD: Under Philippine law, a trade name of a national of a State that is a party to the Paris Convention, whether or not the trade name forms part of a trademark, is protected "without the obligation of filing or registration." Section 123.1(e) of R.A. No. 8293 now categorically states that "a mark which is considered by the competent authority of the Philippines to be well-known internationally and in the Philippines, whether or not it is registered here," cannot be registered by another in the Philippines. Section 123.1(e) does not require that the well-known mark be used in commerce in the Philippines but only that it be well-known in the Philippines.