I.Protect: The Marlboro case-A A +A
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Clint Fabiosa & Ana Liza Villamor
ONCE a trademark is registered, its validity and the registrant’s ownership thereof are prima facie presumed. Due to this presumption, when a trademark registrant sues for infringement, he does not have to prove the validity of his trademark. In the case of Ong vs. People of the Philippines, GR. No. 169440, Nov. 23, 2011, the accused was convicted of selling counterfeit “Marlboro” cigarettes. In that case the Supreme Court said: “The prosecution was able to establish that the trademark ‘Marlboro’ was not only valid for being neither generic nor descriptive, it was also exclusively owned by PMPI, as evidenced by the certificates of registration issued by the Intellectual Property Office…” With this pronouncement by the High Court, the validity of the mark “Marlboro” was confirmed. It can thus be said that there is no longer any doubt as to the validity of the said mark and the ownership thereof by PMPI.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 08, 2013.