TAPE to appeal court decision favoring TVJ on 'Eat Bulaga' name

Kristofer Purnell - Philstar.com
TAPE to appeal court decision favoring TVJ on 'Eat Bulaga' name
New 'Eat Bulaga' hosts on GMA-7
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MANILA, Philippines — Television and Production Exponents Inc. (TAPE) plans to appeal the decision of the Marikina Regional Trial Court that favored the hosting trio of Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon — collectively known as TVJ — over the trademark ownership of the "Eat Bulaga" name.

Last January 5, TVJ announced to the public the Marikina court's decision after Tito received it via email. The decision was dated December 22, 2023, but was only received on January 5, 2024. 

"Wherefore, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiffs (which include TVJ) against the defendants (TAPE and GMA Network)," Tito read, pointing that TAPE and GMA were asked to stop using the "Eat Bulaga" and "EB" trademark, logos and jingle.

"Permanently enjoining the defendants, Television and Production Exponents (TAPE) Inc. and GMA Network Inc. from:

1. Using the trademarks EB, 'Eat Bulaga,' 'Eat Bulaga,' and EB, including all the logos associated with the subject parts in its shows, programs, projects or promotions and...

2. Using the Eat Bulaga jingle/song or any part thereof in its shows, programs, projects or promotions and...

3. Airing and broadcasting a playback of any and all recorded episodes of the Eat Bulaga show prior to 31st May 2023, its segments or any portion thereof in all channels and platforms."

TVJ decided to part ways with TAPE on May 31, 2023, then moved to TV5 where they now host "E.A.T."

Tito also read out that the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) should now cancel any trademark registrations under TAPE over "Eat Bulaga," after which the trio celebrated with their staff by singing the "Eat Bulaga" theme song.

Related: Marikina court recognizes TVJ as originators of 'Eat Bulaga' over TAPE

In a report by GMA News Online, TAPE's legal representative Atty. Maggie Abraham-Garduque acknowledged seeing the Marikina court's decision.

"Initial reaction, among others, we were surprised that the court ruled on trademark and trademark infringement when the case pending in court is copyright infringement," the attorney said, adding that TAPE "will definitely file an appeal."

"There is nothing in the decision which states that since there is injunction issued to TAPE, TVJ can now use the trademark EB and 'Eat Bulaga' especially that the trademark ownership is still under appeal before the IPO," Abraham-Garduque added. 

One of TVJ's own legal counsel, Atty. Enrique "Buko" dela Cruz from DivinaLaw, previously said that the issue could go all the way to the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. 

"Ang opinyon ng DivinaLaw, puwede nang gamitin [ng TVJ ang 'Eat Bulaga'] kahit noon pa, before the decision came out," dela Cruz explained when the IPO favored TVJ over TAPE regarding the "Eat Bulaga" trademark in December last year. 

TVJ, however, opted not to use the "Eat Bulaga" name to avoid any trouble and respect the legal process. With the IPO's decision, the lawyer said it is TAPE's turn to respect the law.

RELATED: TVJ can use 'Eat Bulaga' name, TAPE must respect decision — lawyer

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