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TAPE’s appeal on ‘Eat Bulaga’ trademark application dismissed

Charmie Joy Pagulong - The Philippine Star
TAPE�s appeal on �Eat Bulaga� trademark application dismissed
Eat Bulaga" original hosts Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon.
"Eat Bulaga" / Released

MANILA, Philippines — The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has dismissed the appeal of Television and Production Exponents (TAPE) Inc. that sought to oppose the “Eat Bulaga” trademark application, under Class 41, filed by “E.A.T.” host Joey de Leon as the former’s plea was filed “out of time.”

Class 41 of the trademark refers to the use of entertainer services, entertainment services, production of shows, production of radio and television programs, television entertainment, providing online videos not downloadable, providing television programs via video-on-demand services, presentation of live performances and presentation of variety shows.

An IPOPHL document, signed by Bureau of Legal Affairs (BLA) Director IV Nathaniel Arevalo on Dec. 6, stated that TAPE has “sought to reverse Order No. CF-2023/11063 dated Oct. 12, 2023, which dismissed the opposition for being filed out of time.”

“Thus, for purpose of filing the opposition, the period should be reckoned from original publication date of Aug. 29, 2023. The opposer, therefore, (had) 30 days from Aug. 29, 2023 or until Sept. 28, 2023 within which to file its opposition,” it added.

The IPOPHL’s BLA stated that TAPE “filed their notice of opposition only on Oct. 2, 2023, which (was) beyond the prescribed period.”

De Leon’s trademark application, on the other hand, was published on the IPOPHL E-Gazette on Aug. 29 with Application No. 4/2023/00506771.

An erratum was issued on Sept. 1 to correct the filing date included in the bibliographical data.

“The following mark was published for opposition. However, there were mistakes/amendments in the bibliographic data. The table below shows the correct bibliographic data of each mark. This republication does not extend the opposition period,” the IPOPHL said.

The agency stressed that the “the subject mark had already been published for opposition. The publication referred to herein for purposes of filing the oppositions pertains to the original publication date of Aug. 29, 2023.”

Former Senate president and current “E.A.T.” host Tito Sotto welcomed the decision of the IPOPHL.

“Appeal of TAPE re: Eat Bulaga IPC class 41 dismissed! The people recognized TVJ as Eat Bulaga! Now, gov’t officially recognizes them as such. The others are exponents of sham!” Sotto posted on X (formerly Twitter).

TAPE’s legal counsel Maggie Abraham-Garduque, for her part, told The STAR that under the rules, orders/decisions of the BLA director are appealable to the director general of the IPO within 30 days from receipt.

“Until such time that a certificate of registration is issued to Joey de Leon, we cannot say that the Bureau of Trademark of IPO already grant(ed) the application of Joey,” Garduque said.

The IPOPHL earlier canceled TAPE’s trademark registration of “Eat Bulaga.”

“Respondent-Registrant TAPE Inc.’s existing trademark registrations over the marks ‘Eat Bulaga and EB’ and ‘EB’ should be canceled as they were obtained in contravention of the provisions of Republic Act 8293 or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines,” the IPOPHL’s decision released last Monday read.

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