Mirpuri vs CA, GR No. 114508, 19 November 1999, 318 SCRA 516

FACTS

          Lolita Escobar applied with the Bureau of Patents for the registration of the trademark “Barbizon”, alleging that she had been manufacturing and selling these products since 1970. private respondent Barbizon Corp opposed the application in IPC No. 686. The Bureau granted the application and a certificate of registration was issued for the trademark “Barbizon”. Escobar later assigned all her rights and interest over the trademark to petitioner Mirpuri. In 1979, Escobar failed to file with the Bureau the Affidavit of Use of the trademark. Due to his failure, the Bureau cancelled the certificate of registration. Escobar reapplied and Mirpuri also applied and this application was also opposed by private respondent in IPC No. 2049, claiming that it adopted said trademark in 1933 and has been using it. It obtained a certificate from the US Patent Office in 1934. Then in 1991, DTI cancelled petitioner’s registration and declared private respondent the owner and prior user of the business name “Barbizon International”.

 

ISSUE

          Whether or not the treaty (Paris Convention) affords protection to a foreign corporation against a Philippine applicant for the registration of a similar trademark.

 

HELD

          The Court held in the affirmative. RA 8293 defines trademark as any visible sign capable of distinguishing goods. The Paris Convention is a multilateral treaty that seeks to protect industrial property consisting of patents, utility models, industrial designs, trademarks, service marks, trade names and indications of source or appellations of origin, and at the same time aims to repress unfair competition. In short, foreign nationals are to be given the same treatment in each of the member countries as that country makes available to its own citizens. Nationals of the various member nations are thus assured of a certain minimum of international protection of their industrial property.

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