I.Protect: Birkenstock

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Thursday, March 20, 2014


Clint Fabiosa & Ana Liza Villamor

IN 1993, Shoe Expo obtained a registration over the “BIRKENSTOCK” trademark for shoes.

It failed to file proof of use of the said trademark so its registration was cancelled. German company, Birkenstock GMBH, then filed an application for the registration of “BIRKENSTOCK.” Shoe Expo opposed the said application. When the case reached the Supreme Court, it was held that Birkenstock GMBH is the true and lawful owner of the mark “BIRKENSTOCK” and entitled to its registration. Birkenstock GMBH submitted evidence relating to the origin and history of “BIRKENSTOCK” and its use in commerce long before Shoe Expo was able to register the same in the Philippines.

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“BIRKENSTOCK” was first adopted in Europe in 1774 by its inventor, Johann Birkenstock, a shoemaker, in his line of quality footwear and thereafter, numerous generations of his kin continuously engaged in the manufacture and sale of shoes and sandals bearing the mark “BIRKENSTOCK” until it became Birkenstock GMBH. Various certificates of registration of the mark “BIRKENSTOCK” in various countries were submitted by Birkenstock GMBH. (Birkenstock vs. Phil. Shoe Expo, GR No. 194307, November 20, 2013)

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

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