Mirpuri v. CA (G.R. No. 114508)

Facts:

Lolita Escobar applied for the registration of the trademark ‘Barbizon’ for her products such as brassieres and ladies undergarments. Respondent Barbizon Corporation, an American corporation, opposed alleging that petitioner’s mark is confusingly similar to its own trademark ‘Barbizon.’ Escobar’s application was given due course and her trademark was registered. Later, Escobar assigned all her rights to petitioner Mirpuri who failed to file an Affidavit of Use resulting in the cancellation of the trademark. Petitioner then applied for registration of the trademark to which respondent Barbizon again opposed, now invoking the protection under Article 6bis of the Paris Convention. The Director of Patents declaring respondent’s opposition was already barred, petitioner’s application was given due course. CA reversed the judgment.

Issue:

Whether or not respondent may invoke the protection under Article 6bis of the Paris Convention.

Ruling: YES.

The Convention of Paris for the Protection of Industrial Property, otherwise known as the Paris Convention, is a multilateral treaty that seeks to protect industrial property consisting of patents, utility models, industrial designs, trademarks, service marks, trade names and indications of source or appellations of origin, and at the same time aims to repress unfair competition. The Convention is essentially a compact among various countries which, as members of the Union, have pledged to accord to citizens of the other member countries trademark and other rights comparable to those accorded their own citizens by their domestic laws for an effective protection against unfair competition. Art. 6bis is a self-executing provision and does not require legislative enactment to give it effect in the member country. It may be applied directly by the tribunals and officials of each member country by the mere publication or proclamation of the Convention, after its ratification according to the public law of each state and the order for its execution.

The Philippines and the United States of America have acceded to the WTO Agreement. Conformably, the State must reaffirm its commitment to the global community and take part in evolving a new international economic order at the dawn of the new millennium.

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