Planter’s Peanuts

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Thursday, April 3, 2014


PHILIPPINE Nut, a domestic corporation, obtained a registration for the trademark “PHILIPPINE PLANTER’S CORDIAL PEANUTS.” Standard Brands, a foreign corporation, filed a petition for the cancelation of Philippine Nut’s registration on the ground that it (Standard Brands) is the owner of the “PLANTER’S COCKTAIL PEANUTS,” which was registered earlier. Philippine Nut argued that “PLANTER’S” is not the dominant portion of Standard Brands’ trademark and that “PLANTER’S” is a mere descriptive word.

The Court ruled that although “PLANTER’S” is an ordinary word, it is used on the label of Standard Brands’ product not to describe its nature but to point out the source or origin of the peanut products (which is the function of a trademark). It is the word “PLANTER’S” which easily attracts and catches the eye of the ordinary customer and it is this word and none other that sticks in his mind when he thinks of salted peanuts.

The word “CORDIAL” in Philippine Nut’s trademark and the word “COCKTAIL” in Standard Brands’ trademark are mere descriptive adjectives describing the type of peanuts. When consumers buy these peanuts, they look for “PLANTER’S,” they do not look for “COCKTAIL” or “CORDIAL” peanuts. (Philippine Nut vs. Standard Brands, GR No. L-23035, July 31, 1975)

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(clint.fabiosa@iprotect.ph / analiza.villamor@iprotect.ph)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 04, 2014.

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