I.Protect: Converse-A A +A
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Clint Fabiosa & Ana Liza Villamor
UNIVERSAL Rubber Products, Inc. filed an application with the then Philippine Patent Office for registration of the trademark “UNIVERSAL CONVERSE AND DEVICE” used on rubber shoes and rubber slippers. CONVERSE RUBBER CORPORATION filed its opposition to the application arguing that the trademark sought to be registered is confusingly similar to the word “CONVERSE” which is part of its corporate name “CONVERSE RUBBER CORPORATION.” When the case reached the Supreme Court, it was held that the word “CONVERSE” is the dominant word which identifies CONVERSE RUBBER CORPORATION from other corporations engaged in similar business. Moreover, there is confusing similarity between the trademark “UNIVERSAL CONVERSE AND DEVICE” and CONVERSE RUBBER CORPORATION’s trademarks “CHUCK TAYLOR” and “ALL STAR DEVICE.” The “UNIVERSAL CONVERSE and DEVICE” trademark is imprinted in a circular manner on the side of its rubber shoes. In the same manner, the trademark of CONVERSE RUBBER CORPORATION which reads “CONVERSE CHUCK TAYLOR” is imprinted on a circular base attached to the side of its rubber shoes. Even if not all the details are identical, with the general appearance of the two products, any ordinary customer could be deceived. (Converse Rubber Corp. Vs. Universal Rubber Products, Inc., GR No. L-27906, Jan. 8, 1987)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 29, 2014.