Posted in Mercantile Law case digests

Elidad C. Kho vs. Court of Appeals GR No. 115758 (March 19, 2002)

FACTS:

 Petitioner‘s allegations are that they are doing business under the name and style of KEC Cosmetics Laboratory, registered owner of Chin Chun Su and oval facial cream container/case, and alleges that she also has patent rights on Chin Chun Su and Device and Chin Chun Su Medicated Cream after purchasing the same from Quintin Cheng, the registered owner thereof in the supplemental register of the Philippine Patent Office and that Summerville advertised and sold petitioner’s cream products under the brand name Chin Chun Su, in similar containers that petitioner uses, thereby misleading the public, and resulting in the decline in the petitioner’s business sales and income; and, that the respondents should be enjoined from allegedly infringing on the copyrights and patents of the petitioner.

         The respondents, on the other hand, alleged as their defense that (1) Summerville is the exclusive and authorized importer, re-packer and distributor of Chin Chun Su products manufactured by Shun Yi factory of Taiwan, (2) that the said Taiwanese manufacturing company authorized Summerville to register its trade name Chin Chun Cu Medicated Cream with the Philippine Patent office and Other appropriate governmental agencies; (3) that KEC Cosmetics Laboratory of the petitioner obtained the copyrights through misrepresentation and falsification; and, (4) that the authority of Quintin Cheng, assignee of the patent registration certificate, to distribute and market Chin Chun Su products in the Philippines had already terminated by the said Taiwanese manufacturing company.

ISSUE:

 Whether or not Kho has the sole right using the package of Chin Chun Su products.

HELD:

 Petitioner has no right to support her claim for the exclusive use of the subject trade name and its container. The name and container of a beauty cream product are proper subjects of a trademark in as much as the same falls squarely within its definition. In order to be entitled to exclusively use the same in the sale of the beauty cream product, the user must sufficiently prove that she registered or used it before anybody else did. The petitioner’s copyright and patent registration of the name and container would not guarantee her the right to exclusive use of the same for the reason that they are not appropriate subjects of the said intellectual rights. Consequently, a preliminary injunction order cannot be issued for the reason that the petitioner has not proven that she has a clear right over the said name and container to the exclusion of others, not having proven that she has registered a trademark thereto or used the same before anyone did.

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