Kho v. CA (G.R. No. 115758)

Facts:

Petitioner, doing business under the name and style KEC Cosmetics Laboratory, alleges that it is the registered owner of copyright and patent registration of the Chin Chun Su container and medicated cream. Hence, petitioner filed a complaint to enjoin respondent Summerville Company from advertising and selling cream products under the same brand name Chin Chun Su as it will mislead the public and damage petitioner’s business. The trial court granted the injunction. On appeal, the writ was dissolved. The trial court ruled to bar petitioner from using the mark Chin Chun Su.

Issue:

Whether or not petitioner is entitled to the exclusive use of the trademark Chin Chun Su based on her copyright and patent registration over the product.

Ruling: NO.

Trademark, copyright and patents are different intellectual property rights that cannot be interchanged with one another. A trademark is any visible sign capable of distinguishing the goods (trademark) or services (service mark) of an enterprise and shall include a stamped or marked container of goods. In relation thereto, a trade name means the name or designation identifying or distinguishing an enterprise. Meanwhile, the scope of a copyright is confined to literary and artistic works which are original intellectual creations in the literary and artistic domain protected from the moment of their creation. Patentable inventions, on the other hand, refer to any technical solution of a problem in any field of human activity which is new, involves an inventive step and is industrially applicable. Petitioner has no right to support her claim for the exclusive use of the subject trade name and its container. The name and container of a beauty cream product are proper subjects of a trademark inasmuch as the same falls squarely within its definition.

In order to be entitled to exclusively use the same in the sale of the beauty cream product, the user must sufficiently prove that she registered or used it before anybody else did. The petitioner’s copyright and patent registration of the name and container would not guarantee her right to the exclusive use of the same for the reason that they are not appropriate subjects of the said intellectual rights. Consequently, a preliminary injunction order cannot be issued for the reason that the petitioner has not proven that she has a clear right over the said name and container to the exclusion of others, not having proven that she has registered a trademark thereto or used the same before anyone did.

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