I.Protect: Cosmopolite

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Thursday, February 20, 2014


Clint Fabiosa & Ana Liza Villamor

IN A 1953 case, the Director of Patents denied the registration of the word “Cosmopolite” as a trademark for canned fish, ruling that it is descriptive of the said goods and, therefore, could not be registered under the then Trademark Law, Republic Act No. 166. The Supreme Court reversed the ruling and held that the word “Cosmopolite” is not descriptive since it “does not give the name, quality or description of the canned fish for which it is used. It does not even describe the place of origin, for it does not indicate the country or place where the canned fish was manufactured.

It is a very general term which does not give the kind or quality of the goods. For example, a dealer in shoes cannot register a trademark ‘Leather Shoes’ because that would be descriptive and it would be right to use the same words with reference to their merchandise.” (Masso Hermanos vs. Dirctor of Patents, GR No. L-3952, Dec. 29, 1953)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 21, 2014.

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