Fruit of the Loom v. CA (G.R. No. L-32747)

Facts:

Petitioner Fruit of the Loom, an American corporation, is the registrant of the trademark ‘Fruit of the Loom’ covering goods such as underwear and other textile fabrics. Respondent General Garments on the other hand, is a domestic corporation and a registrant of the trademark ‘Fruit for Eve’ covering garments similar to petitioner. Alleging respondent’s mark and hang tag is confusingly similar with its own, petitioner filed a complaint for trademark infringement and unfair competition. The trial court found for petitioner. CA reversed the judgment.

Issue:

Whether or not respondent’s mark and hang tag is confusingly similar with that of petitioner.

Ruling: NO.

WE agree with the respondent court that by mere pronouncing the two marks, it could hardly be said that it will provoke a confusion as to mistake one for the other. Standing by itself, FRUIT OF THE LOOM is wholly different from FRUIT FOR EVE. WE do not agree with petitioner that the dominant feature of both trademarks is the word FRUIT for even in the printing of the trademark in both hang tags, the word FRUIT is not at all made dominant over the other words. As to the design and coloring scheme of the hang tags, the shape of petitioner’s hang tag is round with a base that looks like a paper rolled a few inches in both ends; while that of private respondent is plain rectangle without any base. The designs differ. Petitioner’s trademark is written in almost semi-circle while that of private respondent is written in straight line in bigger letters than petitioner’s. Private respondent’s tag has only an apple in its center but that of petitioner has also clusters of grapes that surround the apple in the center. The colors of the hang tag are also very distinct from each other. WE hold that the trademarks FRUIT OF THE LOOM and FRUIT FOR EVE do not resemble each other as to confuse or deceive an ordinary purchaser. WE hold that the trademarks FRUIT OF THE LOOM and FRUIT FOR EVE do not resemble each other as to confuse or deceive an ordinary purchaser.

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