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19 ESSO Standard vs CA

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    19 ESSO Standard vs. CA G.R. No L-29971 TOPIC : Trademark Infringement and Unfair Competition PONENTE : TEEHANKEE J. AUTHOR : MAGO Notes: CASE LAW/ DOCTRINE : The law defines infringement as the use without consent of the trademark owner of any reproduction, counterfeit, copy or colorable limitation of any registered mark or tradename in connection with the sale, offering for sale, or advertising of any goods, business or services on or in connection with which such use is likely to cause confusion or mistake or to deceive purchasers or others as to the source or srcin of such goods or services, or Identity of such business; or reproduce, counterfeit, copy or colorably imitate any such mark or tradename and apply such reproduction, counterfeit, copy or colorable limitation to labels, signs, prints, packages, wrappers, receptacles or advertisements intended to be used upon or in connection with such goods, business or services. Implicit in this definition is the concept that the goods must be so related that there is a likelihood either of confusion of goods or business. Whether trademark infringement exists depends for the most part upon whether or not the goods are so related   that the public may be, or is actually, deceived and misled that they came from the same maker or manufacturer. For non-competing goods may be those which, though they are not in actual competition, are so related to each other that it might reasonably be assumed that they srcinate from one manufacturer. Non-competing  goods may also be those which, being entirely unrelated  , could  not   reasonably be assumed to have a common source. in the former case of related goods, confusion of business could arise out of the use of similar marks; in the latter case of non-related goods, it could not. Emergency Recit: Petitioner is a foreign corp. engaged in the sale of petroleum products registered with the Bureau of Commerce while respondent United Cigarette is a local corp. that acquired its business from another domestic corp. including the right to use ‘ESSO’ on cigarette products. Petitioner sued respondent for trademark infringement. CFI: There is trademark infringement CA: Reversed SC: Upheld CA decision for several reasons 1.) Products of both parties are vastly different from each other. (not related goods) 2.) Goods flow from different channels 3.) Trademarks themselves are entirely different with the respondent having a rectangular background and only uses the color green, while in that of the petitioner the word ESSO is enclosed in an oval background and comes in either red, white, blue or a combination of these colors FACTS: The petitioner Esso Standard is a foreign corporation duly licensed to do business in the Philippines. It is engaged in the sale of petroleum products  which are identified by the trademark 'Esso'. Esso is a successor of Standard Vacuum Oil Co, it registered as a business name with the Bureau of Commerce in 1962. United Cigarette is a domestic corporation engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes. It acquired the business from La Oriental Tobacco Corp including the use of trademark rights, one of which is the use of 'Esso' on its cigarettes for which a permit had been duly granted by the Bureau of Internal Revenue.   The petitioner filed a trademark infringement case alleging that it acquired goodwill to such an extent that the buying public would be deceived as to the quality and srcin of the said products to the detriment and disadvantage of its own products. The lower court found United Cigarette guilty of infringement. Upon appeal, the Court of Appeals ruled that there was no infringement in this case.  ISSUE(S) : W/N there is infringement commited HELD : NONE. The Court rules in favor of respondent United Cigarette RATIO : Infringement is defined by law as the use without the consent of the trademark owner of any reproduction, counterfeit, copy or colorable imitation of any registered mark or tradename which would likely cause confusion or mistake or deceive purchasers or others as to the source or srcin of such goods. The products of both parties (Petroleum and cigarettes) are non-competing. But as to whether trademark infringement exists depend on whether or not the goods are so related that the public may be or is actually deceived and misled that they come from the same maker. Under the Related Goods Theory, goods are related when they belong to the same class or have the same descriptive properties or when they have same physical attributes. In this case, the goods are absolutely different and are so foreign from each other it would be unlikely for purchasers to think that they came from the same source. Moreover, the goods flow from different channels of trade and are evidently different in kind and nature. Furthermore, the trademarks used by both companies are vastly different from each other with the respondent having a rectangular background and only uses the color green, while in that of the petitioner the word ESSO is enclosed in an oval background and comes in either red, white, blue or a combination of these colors The goods are obviously different from each other with absolutely no iota of similitude as stressed in respondent court's  judgment. They are so foreign to each other as to make it unlikely that purchasers would think that petitioner is the manufacturer of respondent's goods. The mere fact that one person has adopted and used a trademark on his goods does not prevent the adoption and use of the same trademark by others on unrelated articles of a different kind. DISSENTING/CONCURRING OPINION(S) :
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