Developers Group of Companies v. CA (G.R. No. 104583)

Facts:

Petitioner Developers Group of Companies filed an infringement case against respondent Shangri-La alleging that it was the registered owner of the trademark ‘Shangri-La’ and ‘S’ logo for its restaurant services which respondent herein was illegally using to the prejudice of petitioner. Petitioner also moved to enjoin respondent from using the said mark and logo. Respondent Shangri-La claimed that it was the legal owner of the mark and it had already filed an administrative case for the cancellation of the mark even before petitioner has filed its complaint. The trial court found for petitioner and issued the injunction. CA set aside the order of the trial court.

Issue:

Whether or not the petitioner was entitled to the writ of preliminary injunction issued by the trial court.

Ruling: NO.

The conflicting claims of the parties to the subject service mark and logo give us the impression that the right claimed by the plaintiff as its basis for asking for injunctive relief is far from clear. The prima facie validity of its registration has been put into serious question by the above-stated cases filed by Shangri-La in the Bureau of Patents three years ahead of the complaint. While it is not required that Developer’s claimed right be conclusively established at this stage, it is nevertheless necessary to show, at least tentatively, that it exists and is not vitiated by any substantial challenge or contradiction, such as has been made by the private respondent. In our view, the petitioner has failed to comply with this requirement. As for the alleged damages, we find that Developers has not adduced any evidence of injury, either actual or imminent, resulting from the acts complained of against Shangri-La. There was no finding of the trial court affirming the claim for damages nor is there any support for it in the record. Our conclusion is that Developers has not justified the issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction by proving that it has a legal right to the disputed mark and logo and that it has sustained injury as a result of the use thereof by Shangri-La.

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