I.Protect: Sunshine

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

FITRITE, INC. obtained a registration for the trademark “Sunshine” used for biscuits and cookies. Fitrite filed with the regional trial court a case for trademark infringement against Conrad for selling cookies and biscuits bearing the “Sunshine” mark. Sunshine Biscuits USA filed with the then Bureau of Patents, Trademarks, and Technology Transfer (now Intellectual Property Office) a petition for the cancellation of the registration of Fitrite – claiming that it (Sunshine Biscuits USA) is the owner of the “Sunshine” mark. Conrad filed a motion to dismiss the trademark infringement case before the court – citing the trademark cancellation case. The Supreme Court ruled that Fitrite’s trademark registration gives rise to a presumption of validity of its ownership and right to the exclusive use of the said trademark. It is precisely such a registration that can serve as the basis for an action for infringement. Hence, the court case for trademark infringement may proceed notwithstanding the pendency of the petition for trademark cancellation.

(Conrad vs. CA, G.R. No. 115115 July 18, 1995)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 15, 2014.


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