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240 General Garments Corporation vs.

Director AUTHOR: DAYOS


of Patents NOTES:
41 SCRA 50 30 September 1971 General Garments – organized under the Philippine
TOPIC: Effect of failure to secure SEC license laws
PONENTE: Puritan Sportswear – organized under US laws
FACTS:
 General Garments Corp (GENERAL) owns the trademark “Puritan” under registration no. 10059 issued in
1962 by Philippine Patent Office (PPO), for assorted men’s wear (brief, sweatshirt, sando, jacket,
undershirt)
 In 1964, Puritan Sportswear Corp (PURITAN) filed a petition with the PPO for cancellation of trademark
“Puritan”, alleging ownership and prior use in the Philippines of same trademark on same kind of goods;
and that the registration by GENERAL was fraudulent in violation of section 17(c) of RA No. 166.
 GENERAL filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that PURITAN is a foreign corp not authorized to do
business in the Philippines, thus, he has no legal capacity to maintain a suit in PPO. (not a person
contemplated by law who can file a petition for cancellation)
 Director of Patents: denied the MTD and MR
 Hence, GENERAL filed a petition for review

ISSUE(S): Whether PURITAN has no legal capacity to file a petition for cancellation of trademark with PPO
because it lacks a certification from SEC to transact business in the Philippines?

HELD: PURITAN is a juridical person regardless of non-registration with the SEC, thus it has a legal capacity
to file a petition for cancellation of trademark.
RATIO:
 PURITAN went to the Philippine Patent Office on a petition for cancellation of a trademark registered by
petitioner, invoking Section 17(c) in relations to Section 4(d) of the Trademark Law not to the courts for
recovery of any debt, claim, or demand, for which a license to transact business is required.
 The purpose of such a suit is to protect its reputation, corporate name and goodwill which has been
established, through the natural development of its trade for a long period of years, in the doing of which
it does not seek to enforce any legal or contract rights arising from, or growing out of any business which
it has transacted in the Philippine Islands.
 The right to the use of the corporate or trade name is a property right, a right in rem, which it may assert
and protect in any of the courts of the world — even in jurisdictions where it does not transact business
— just the same as it may protect its tangible property, real or personal against trespass or conversion.

CASE LAW/ DOCTRINE:


DISSENTING/CONCURRING OPINION(S):