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Tito Sotto says Tito, Vic, Joey own 'Eat Bulaga!' trademark

MANILA, Philippines, June 4 ------ Long-time host and former senator Tito Sotto claimed that he and his fellow main hosts on "Eat Bulaga!" Joey de Leon and brother Vic Sotto are the rightful owners of the noontime variety show's trademark.

Last May 31, the trio of hosts collectively known as TVJ announced that they would be departing production company Television and Production Exponents, Inc. (TAPE), which produces the long-running show. This was followed by the mass resignation of other "Eat Bulaga!" staff, including hosts, talents, and crew from TAPE.

In an interview with the following day, Tito said as "inventors" of the name and program of "Eat Bulaga!" that TAPE isn't the rightful owners to its trademark but TVJ. "I'm sure. I'm very confident. Sinasabi ng mga lawyers namin, they're very confident na we will get it. Kami nag-imbento, eh," Tito explained. "Look at the [trademark] law. Look at the laws, the Supreme Court jurisprudence on these kind of issues. It's always, the inventor is the owner — unless you give it up."

The ex-senator was asked if Joey applied for trademark registration last March, and a month before that TVJ also applied with Antonio Tuviera, co-owner of TAPE. He explained TVJ applied for Section 41 of the Intellectual Property Office which concerns entertainment services. According to Tito, TAPE only has the rights to merchandising. "The truth is they filed for ownership of the logo of 'Eat Bulaga!' for goods. They filed — pero in bad faith. Bakit? Eh, kami nag-umpisa ng 'Eat Bulaga!,' 1979!" Tito continued. "Wala naman sila, eh. Paano naging sila owner, 'di ba? Dapat sinama nila kami. O, kaya kami, nag-file kami ngayon ng separate namin." reached out to Tito for further clarification and he reiterated the difference between applications, emphasizing TVJ's role in ownership. "There are two other separate filings but based on Supreme Court jurisprudence, the owner is at the 'point of creation.' Kami 'yun, hindi TAPE," Tito told

According to the database of the World Intellectual Property Organization, there are indeed two pending applications for the trademark registration of "Eat Bulaga!" The first one filed in end-February this year by TVJ and Tuviera was for Sections 16, 18, 21, 25 (merchandise-related content), and the aforementioned Section 41 for entertainment services. The second one was filed a month later by Joey solely for Section 41.

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines has yet to respond to both applications, hence their pending status. The only active registered trademark is under TAPE for, as Tito explained, merchandise-related content which expires on June 14, 2023. Several entries on the database also show that "Eat Bulaga!" applications by TAPE are considered "ended" and "removed from register for non-filing of Declaration of Actual Use." Amid these turn of events, a reliable source previously confirmed to that "Eat Bulaga!" is in talks with Bacolod City mayor Albee Benitez for a transfer from GMA-7 to rival network TV5.



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