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IPOPHL confirms renewal of TAPE’s ‘Eat Bulaga’ trademark for another 10 years

August 23 ------ The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) confirmed that it has granted the Television and Production Exponents Inc. (TAPE) the renewal of the trademark registration for “Eat Bulaga” and “EB.”

“On queries from various quarters about the renewal of the EAT BULAGA trademark of Television and Production Exponents, Inc., IPOPHL confirms the approval on June 14, 2023 of the request to extend the term of registration over EAT BULAGA AND EB covered by TM Reg. No. 42011005951, for Nice Classes 16, 18, 21 and 25 for another 10 years,” IPOPHL said in a statement on Aug. 22. It added, “The renewal process strictly observes an ex-parte nature prescribed by Republic Act 8293 or the Intellectual Property Code. Under the law, requests for renewal should be granted primarily if the registrant can prove the actual and continuous use of the mark.” “Moreover, as the renewal requests and other pending applications at the Bureau of Trademark (BOT) are separate from the trademark cancellation case at the Bureau of Legal Affairs (BLA), they do not affect the BLA’s disposition of the merits of the trademark cancellation case,” IPOPHL added.

TAPE, the producer of “Eat Bulaga,” is the prior registrant of the “Eat Bulaga” and “EB” trademark, and successfully renewed it upon its expiration last June 14. The Bureau of Trademarks under IPOPHL issued the Certificate of Renewal of Registration for the “Eat Bulaga” and “EB” trademarks and logos. The registration showed the date of registration was on June 14, 2013 and was renewed on June 14, 2023. The registration will last for 10 years and expire on June 14, 2033.

TAPE and TVJ, composed of Tito and Vic Sotto, and Joey de Leon, who are the former hosts of “Eat Bulaga,” are in a legal dispute over the “Eat Bulaga” trademark. Last June 2, TVJ filed to cancel the “Eat Bulaga” registration with IPOPHL. About the IPOPHL statement, TAPE lawyer Maggie Abraham-Garduque said, “It has been our stand that TAPE is in actual and continuous use of the ‘Eat Bulaga’ trademark for its noontime show. Hence, it opposes any person or entity who applies for registration thereof, invoking Section 123 Par. F of IPO law of RA 8293.”

According to the law’s Section 123 on Registrability, “A mark cannot be registered if it: f) Is identical with, or confusingly similar to, or constitutes a translation of a mark considered well-known in accordance with the preceding paragraph, which is registered in the Philippines with respect to goods or services which are not similar to those with respect to which registration is applied for: Provided, That use of the mark in relation to those goods or services would indicate a connection between those goods or services, and the owner of the registered mark: Provided, further, That the interests of the owner of the registered mark are likely to be damaged by such use.” “By renewing the registration of TAPE, IPO already acknowledges that TAPE is in actual and continuous use of the mark for its noontime show,” said Abraham-Garduque. She added, “That provision of the law (IPO law or RA 8293) states that if a mark is in actual use of another you can't apply for registration of it, whether for same goods or services. Because it will indicate a connection between those goods and services and the interest of TAPE will be damage by such application for registration or use.” “Foremost, IPO in its previous letter recognizes that tape is the prior registrant of the trademark Eat Bulaga/EB. Now with its renewal, IPO likewise acknowledges that TAPE is in actual and continuous use thereof. Thereby we invoke Section 123 Par. F that no one should be allowed to register it because tape is the prior registrant and the one in actual and continuous use,” she said.

In a separate action, TVJ and Jeny Ferre also filed a case against TAPE and GMA Network with the Marikina Regional Trial Court Branch 273 for “Copyright Infringement and Unfair Competition under R.A. No. 8293, otherwise known as the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, with Application for Issuance of a Writ of Preliminary Injunction.” In filing the case, TVJ and Ferre are asking the court to issue an injunction to stop TAPE from replaying “Eat Bulaga” episodes, segments and audio-visual recordings done before May 31 this year and using the title “Eat Bulaga.” Last Aug. 11, Tito Sotto testified in court during a hearing on the application for the issuance of writ of preliminary injunction in the copyright infringement and unfair competition case. De Leon previously testified in court.



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