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Gk No 103S43 Iu|y S 1993

ASIA 8kLWLk INC vs 1nL nCN CCUk1 CI ALALS and SAN MIGULL
CCkCkA1ICN
GkICAUINC
Cn SepLember 13 1988 San Mlguel CorporaLlon (SMC) flled a complalnL
agalnsL Asla 8rewery lnc (A8l) for lnfrlngemenL of Lrademark and unfalr
compeLlLlon on accounL of Lhe laLLers 8LL8 ALL lLSLn or 8LL8 nA 8LL8
producL whlch has been compeLlng wlLh SMCs SAn MlCuLL ALL lLSLn for
a share of Lhe local beer markeL (San Mlguel CorporaLlon vs Asla 8rewery
lnc Clv Case no 36390 81C 8ranch 166 aslg MeLro Manlla)
Cn AugusL 27 1990 a declslon was rendered by Lhe Lrlal CourL preslded
over by !udge !esus C 8ersamlra dlsmlsslng SMCs complalnL because A8l
has noL commlLLed Lrademark lnfrlngemenL or unfalr compeLlLlon agalnsL
SMC (p 189 kollo)
SMC appealed Lo Lhe CourL of Appeals (CAC8 Cv no 28104) Cn
SepLember 30 1991 Lhe CourL of Appeals (SlxLh ulvlslon composed of !usLlce
!ose C Campos !r chalrman and pooeote and !usLlces venanclo u Aldecoa
!r and lllemon P Mendoza as members) reversed Lhe Lrlal courL 1he
dlsposlLlve parL of Lhe declslon reads as follows
ln Lhe llghL of Lhe foregolng analysls and under Lhe plaln language
of Lhe appllcable rule and prlnclple on Lhe maLLer We flnd Lhe
defendanL Asla 8rewery lncorporaLed CulL1? of lnfrlngemenL of
Lrademark and unfalr compeLlLlon 1he declslon of Lhe Lrlal courL
ls hereby 8LvL8SLu and a new [udgmenL enLered ln favor of Lhe
plalnLlff and agalnsL Lhe defendanL as follows
(1) 1he defendanL Asla 8rewery lnc lLs offlcers agenLs servanLs
and employees are hereby permanenLly en[olned and resLralned
from manufacLurlng puLLlng up selllng adverLlslng offerlng or
announclng for sale or supplylng 8eer ale llsen or any slmllar
preparaLlon manufacLure or beer ln boLLles and under labels
subsLanLlally ldenLlcal wlLh or llke Lhe sald boLLles and labels of
plalnLlff San Mlguel CorporaLlon employed for LhaL purpose or
subsLanLlally ldenLlcal wlLh or llke Lhe boLLles and labels now
employed by Lhe defendanL for LhaL purpose or ln boLLles or
under labels whlch are calculaLed Lo decelve purchasers and
consumers lnLo Lhe bellef LhaL Lhe beer ls Lhe producL of Lhe
plalnLlff or whlch wlll enable oLhers Lo subsLlLuLe sell or palm off
Lhe sald beer of Lhe defendanL as and for Lhe beer of Lhe plalnLlff
complalnanL
(2) 1he defendanL Asla 8rewery lnc ls hereby ordered Lo render
an accounLlng and pay Lhe San Mlguel CorporaLlon double any
and all Lhe paymenLs derlved by defendanL from operaLlons of lLs
buslness and Lhe sale of goods bearlng Lhe mark 8eer ale
llsen esLlmaLed aL approxlmaLely llve Mllllon esos
(300000000) Lo recall all lLs producLs bearlng Lhe mark 8eer
ale llsen from lLs reLallers and dellver Lhese as well as all
labels slgns prlnLs packages wrappers recepLacles and
adverLlsemenLs bearlng Lhe lnfrlnglng mark and all plaLes molds
maLerlals and oLher means of maklng Lhe same Lo Lhe CourL
auLhorlzed Lo execuLe Lhls [udgmenL for desLrucLlon
(3) 1he defendanL ls hereby ordered Lo pay plalnLlff Lhe sum of
1wo Mllllon esos (200000000) as moral damages and Palf a
Mllllon esos (300000000) by way of exemplary damages
(4) 1he defendanL ls furLher ordered Lo pay Lhe plalnLlff aLLorneys
fees ln Lhe amounL of 23000000 plus cosLs Lo Lhls sulL (p
90 kollo)
upon a moLlon for reconslderaLlon flled by A8l Lhe above dlsposlLlve parL of
Lhe declslon was modlfled by Lhe separaLe oplnlons of Lhe Speclal SlxLh
ulvlslon
1
so LhaL lL should read Lhus
ln Lhe llghL of Lhe foregolng analysls and under Lhe plaln language
of Lhe appllcable rule and prlnclple on Lhe maLLer We flnd Lhe
defendanL Asla 8rewery lncorporaLed D@ of loftloqemeot of
ttoJemotk ooJ oofolt competltloo 1he declslon of Lhe Lrlal courL
ls hereby 8LvL8SLu and a new [udgmenL enLered ln favor of Lhe
plalnLlff and agalnsL Lhe defendanL as follows
(1) 1he defendanL Asla 8rewery lnc lLs offlcers agenLs servanLs
and employees are hereby permanenLly en[olned and resLralned
from manufacLurlng puLLlng up selllng adverLlslng offerlng or
announclng for sale or supplylng 8eer ale llsen or any slmllar
preparaLlon manufacLure or beer ln boLLles and under labels
subsLanLlally ldenLlcal wlLh or llke Lhe sald boLLles and labels of
plalnLlff San Mlguel CorporaLlon employed for LhaL purpose or
subsLanLlally ldenLlcal wlLh or llke Lhe boLLles and labels now
employed by Lhe defendanL for LhaL purpose or ln boLLles or
under labels whlch are calculaLed Lo decelve purchasers and
consumers lnLo Lhe bellef LhaL Lhe beer lf Lhe producL of Lhe
plalnLlff or whlch wlll enable oLhers Lo subsLlLuLe sell or palm off
Lhe sald beer of Lhe defendanL as and for Lhe beer of Lhe plalnLlff
complalnanL
(2) 1he defendanL Asla 8rewery lnc ls hereby ordered

Lo recall
all lLs producLs bearlng Lhe mark 8eer ale llsen from lLs reLallers
and dellver Lhese as well as all labels slgns prlnLs packages
wrappers recepLacles and adverLlsemenLs bearlng Lhe lnfrlnglng
mark and all plaLes molds maLerlals and oLher means of maklng
Lhe same Lo Lhe CourL auLhorlzed Lo execuLe Lhls [udgmenL for
desLrucLlon
(3) 1he defendanL ls hereby ordered Lo pay plalnLlff Lhe sum of
1wo Mllllon esos (200000000) as moral damages and Palf a
Mllllon esos (30000000) by way of exemplary damages
(4) 1he defendanL ls furLher ordered Lo pay Lhe plalnLlff aLLorneys
fees ln Lhe amounL of 23000000 plus cosLs of Lhls sulL
ln due Llme A8l appealed Lo Lhls CourL by a peLlLlon for cettlototl under 8ule
43 of Lhe 8ules of CourL 1he lone lssue ln Lhls appeal ls wheLher A8l lnfrlnges
SMCs Lrademark 5oo Mlqoel lole lllseo wltb kectooqolot nops ooJ Molt
ueslqo and Lhereby commlLs unfalr compeLlLlon agalnsL Lhe laLLer lL ls a
facLual lssue (hll nuL lndusLry lnc v SLandard 8rands lnc 63 SC8A 373) and
as a general rule Lhe flndlngs of Lhe CourL of Appeals upon facLual quesLlons
are concluslve and oughL noL Lo be dlsLurbed by us Powever Lhere are
excepLlons Lo Lhls general rule and Lhey are
(1) When Lhe concluslon ls grounded enLlrely on speculaLlon
surmlses and con[ecLures
(2) When Lhe lnference of Lhe CourL of Appeals from lLs flndlngs of
facL ls manlfesLly mlsLaken absurd and lmposslble
(3) Where Lhere ls grave abuse of dlscreLlon
(4) When Lhe [udgmenL ls based on a mlsapprehenslon of facLs
(3) When Lhe appellaLe courL ln maklng lLs flndlngs wenL beyond
Lhe lssues of Lhe case and Lhe same are conLrary Lo Lhe
admlsslons of boLh Lhe appellanL and Lhe appellee
(6) When Lhe flndlngs of sald courL are conLrary Lo Lhose of Lhe
Lrlal courL
(7) When Lhe flndlngs are wlLhouL clLaLlon of speclflc evldence on
whlch Lhey are based
(8) When Lhe facLs seL forLh ln Lhe peLlLlon as well as ln Lhe
peLlLloners maln and reply brlefs are noL dlspuLed by Lhe
respondenLs and
(9) When Lhe flndlngs of facLs of Lhe CourL of Appeals are
premlsed on Lhe absence of evldence and are conLradlcLed on
record (8eynolds hlllpplne CorporaLlon vs CourL of Appeals 169
SC8A 220 223 clLlng Mendoza vs CourL of Appeals 136 SC8A
397 Manlapaz vs CourL of Appeals 147 SC8A 238 Sacay vs
Sandlganbayan 142 SC8A 393 609 CulLa vs CA 139 SC8A 376
Casanayan vs CourL of Appeals 198 SC8A 333 336 also Apex
lnvesLmenL and llnanclng Corp vs lAC 166 SC8A 438 clLlng
1olenLlno vs ue !esus 36 SC8A 167 Carollna lndusLrles lnc vs
CMS SLock 8rokerage lnc 97 SC8A 734 Manero vs CA 102 SC8A
817 and Moran !r vs CA 133 SC8A 88)
under any of Lhese excepLlons Lhe CourL has Lo revlew Lhe evldence ln order
Lo arrlve aL Lhe correcL flndlngs based on Lhe record (8oman CaLhollc 8lshop
of Malolos lnc vs lAC 191 SC8A 411 420) Where flndlngs of Lhe CourL of
Appeals and Lrlal courL are conLrary Lo each oLher Lhe Supreme CourL may
scruLlnlze Lhe evldence on record (Cruz vs CA 129 SC8A 222 227)
1he presenL case ls one of Lhe excepLlons because Lhere ls no concurrence
beLween Lhe Lrlal courL and Lhe CourL of Appeals on Lhe lone facLual lssue of
wheLher A8l by manufacLurlng and selllng lLs 8LL8 ALL lLSLn ln amber
colored sLelnle boLLles of 320 ml capaclLy wlLh a whlLe palnLed recLangular
label has commlLLed Lrademark lnfrlngemenL and unfalr compeLlLlon agalnsL
SMC
lnfrlngemenL of Lrademark ls a form of unfalr compeLlLlon (Clarke vs Manlla
Candy Co 36 hll 100 106) Sec 22 of 8epubllc AcL no 166 oLherwlse
known as Lhe 1rademark Law deflnes whaL consLlLuLes lnfrlngemenL
Sec 22 oftloqemeot wbot coostltotes Any person who shall
use wlLhouL Lhe consenL of Lhe reglsLranL any reproducLlon
counLerfelL copy or colorable lmlLaLlon of any teqlsteteJ mark or
Lradename ln connecLlon wlLh Lhe sale offerlng for sale or
adverLlslng of any goods buslness or servlces on or ln connecLlon
wlLh whlch such use ls llkely Lo cause confuslon or mlsLake or Lo
decelve purchasers or oLhers as Lo Lhe source or orlgln of such
goods or servlces or ldenLlLy of such buslness or reproduce
counLerfelL copy or colorably lmlLaLe any such mark or Lrade
name and apply such reproducLlon counLerfelL copy or colorable
lmlLaLlon Lo labels slgns prlnLs packages wrappers recepLacles
or adverLlsemenLs lnLended Lo be used upon or ln connecLlon
wlLh such goods buslness or servlces shall be llable Lo a clvll
acLlon by Lhe reglsLranL for any or all of Lhe remedles hereln
provlded (Lmphasls supplled)
1hls deflnlLlon lmplles LhaL only teqlsteteJ Lrade marks Lrade names and
servlce marks are proLecLed agalnsL lnfrlngemenL or unauLhorlzed use by
anoLher or oLhers 1he use of someone elses reglsLered Lrademark Lrade
name or servlce mark ls unauLhorlzed hence acLlonable lf lL ls done
wlLhouL Lhe consenL of Lhe reglsLranL (lJ)
1he reglsLered Lrademark of SMC for lLs pale pllsen beer ls
5oo Mlqoel lole lllseo wltb kectooqolot nops ooJ Molt
ueslqo (hlllpplne 8ureau of aLenLs 1rademarks and 1echnology
1ransfer 1rademark CerLlflcaLe of 8eglsLraLlon no 36103 daLed
23 CcL 1986
(p 174 kollo)
As descrlbed by Lhe Lrlal courL ln lLs declslon (age 177 kollo)
a recLangular deslgn ls bordered by whaL appears Lo
be mloote qtolos ottooqeJ lo tows of tbtee lo wblcb tbete oppeot
lo eocb cotoet bop Jeslqos AL Lhe Lop ls a phrase wrlLLen ln small
prlnL 8eg hll aL Cff and aL Lhe boLLom neL ConLenLs 320
Ml 1he domlnanL feaLure ls Lhe phrase 5oo Mlqoel wrlLLen
horlzonLally aL Lhe upper porLlon 8elow are Lhe words ale
llsen wrlLLen dlagonally across Lhe mlddle of Lhe recLangular
deslgn ln beLween ls a coaL of arms and Lhe phrase LxperLly
8rewed 1he S ln San and Lhe M of Mlguel of ale
and llsen are wrlLLen ln CoLhlc leLLers wlLh flne sLrokes of
serlfs Lhe klnd LhaL flrsL appeared ln Lhe 1780s ln Lngland and
used for prlnLlng Cerman as dlsLlngulshed from 8oman and lLallc
8elow ale llsen ls Lhe sLaLemenL And 8oLLled by (flrsL llne
San Mlguel 8rewery (second llne) and hlllpplnes (Lhlrd llne)
(p 177 kollo Lmphasls supplled)
Cn Lhe oLher hand A8ls Lrademark as descrlbed by Lhe Lrlal courL conslsLs
of
a recLangular deslgn bordered by whaL appear Lo
be oJs of flowets wltb leoves 1he domlnanL feaLure ls 8eet
wrlLLen across Lhe upper porLlon of Lhe recLangular deslgn 1he
phrase ale llsen appears lmmedlaLely below ln smaller block
leLLers 1o Lhe lefL ls a hop deslgn and Lo Lhe rlghL wrlLLen ln small
prlnLs ls Lhe phrase neL ConLenLs 320 ml lmmedlaLely below
ale llsen ls Lhe sLaLemenL wrlLLen ln Lhree llnes Lspeclally
brewed and boLLled by (flrsL llne) Asla 8rewery lncorporaLed
(second llne) and hlllpplnes (Lhlrd llne) (p 177 kollo
Lmphasls supplled)
uoes A8ls 8LL8 ALL lLSLn label or deslgn lnfrlnge upon SMCs SAn
MlCuLL ALL lLSLn Wl1P 8LC1AnCuLA8 MAL1 Anu PCS uLSlCn? 1he
answer ls no
lnfrlngemenL ls deLermlned by Lhe LesL of domlnancy raLher Lhan by
dlfferences or varlaLlons ln Lhe deLalls of one Lrademark and of anoLher 1he
rule was formulaLed ln co @looq 5o vs ultectot of loteots 93 hll 1 4
(1934) relLeraLed ln lm noo vs ultectot of loteots 100 hll 214 216217
(1936) Lhus
lL has been conslsLenLly held LhaL Lhe quesLlon of lnfrlngemenL of
a Lrademark ls Lo be deLermlned by Lhe test of Jomlooocy
SlmllarlLy ln slze form and color whlle relevanL ls noL concluslve
lf Lhe compeLlng Lrademark conLalns Lhe maln or essenLlal or
domlnanL feaLures of anoLher and confuslon and decepLlon ls
llkely Lo resulL lnfrlngemenL Lakes place uupllcaLlon or lmlLaLlon
ls noL necessary nor lL ls necessary LhaL Lhe lnfrlnglng label should
suggesL an efforL Lo lmlLaLe C nellman 8rewlng Co vs
lndependenL 8rewlng Co 191 l 489 493 clLlng Lagle WhlLe
Lead Co vs flugh (CC) 180 led 379 1he quesLlon aL lssue ln
cases of lnfrlngemenL of Lrademarks ls wheLher Lhe use of Lhe
marks lnvolved would be llkely Lo coose coofosloo ot mlstokes lo
tbe mloJ of tbe pollc ot Jecelve potcbosets (Auburn 8ubber
CorporaLlon vs Ponover 8ubber Co 107 l 2d 388 )
(Lmphasls supplled)
ln lotes Mooo co (tJ) vs Aoq 5oo @o 40 hll 272 273 Lhe LesL was
slmllarlLy or resemblance beLween Lhe Lwo (Lrademarks) such as would be
llkely Lo cause Lhe one mark Lo be mlsLaken for Lhe oLher 8uL Lhls ls noL
such slmlllLude as amounLs Lo ldenLlLy
o lbll Not oJostty oc vs 5tooJotJ 8tooJs oc 63 SC8A 373 Lhe courL was
more speclflc Lhe LesL ls slmllarlLy ln Lhe domlnanL feaLures of Lhe
Lrademarks
WhaL are Lhe domlnanL feaLures of Lhe compeLlng Lrademarks before us?
1here ls hardly any dlspuLe LhaL Lhe domlnanL feaLure of SMCs Lrademark ls
Lhe name of Lhe producL SAn MlCuLL ALL lLSLn wrlLLen ln whlLe CoLhlc
leLLers wlLh elaboraLe serlfs aL Lhe beglnnlng and end of Lhe leLLers S and
M on an amber background across Lhe upper porLlon of Lhe recLangular
deslgn
Cn Lhe oLher hand Lhe domlnanL feaLure of A8ls Lrademark ls Lhe name
8LL8 ALL lLSLn wlLh Lhe word 8eer wrlLLen ln large amber leLLers larger
Lhan any of Lhe leLLers found ln Lhe SMC label
1he Lrlal courL percepLlvely observed LhaL Lhe word 8LL8 does noL appear
ln SMCs Lrademark [usL as Lhe words SAn MlCuLL do noL appear ln A8ls
Lrademark Pence Lhere ls absoluLely no slmllarlLy ln Lhe domlnanL feaLures
of boLh Lrademarks
nelLher ln sound spelllng or appearance can 8LL8 ALL lLSLn be sald Lo be
confuslngly slmllar Lo SAn MlCuLL ALL lLSLn no one who purchases 8LL8
ALL lLSLn can posslbly be decelved LhaL lL ls SAn MlCuLL ALL lLSLn no
evldence whaLsoever was presenLed by SMC provlng oLherwlse
8esldes Lhe dlsslmllarlLy ln Lhelr names Lhe followlng oLher dlsslmllarlLles ln
Lhe Lrade dress or appearance of Lhe compeLlng producLs abound
(1) 1he SAn MlCuLL ALL lLSLn boLLle has a slender Lapered neck
1he 8LL8 ALL lLSLn boLLle has a faL bulglng neck
(2) 1he words pale pllsen on SMCs label are prlnLed ln bold and laced
leLLers along a Jloqoool band whereas Lhe words pale pllsen on A8ls
boLLle are half Lhe slze and prlnLed ln slender block leLLers on a
sLralghL botlzootolband (See LxhlblL 8a)
(3) 1he names of Lhe manufacLurers are promlnenLly prlnLed on Lhelr
respecLlve boLLles
SAn MlCuLL ALL lLSLn ls 8oLLled by Lhe San Mlguel 8rewery
hlllpplnes whereas 8LL8 ALL lLSLn ls Lspeclally brewed and boLLled by
Asla 8rewery lncorporaLed hlllpplnes
(4) Cn Lhe back of A8ls boLLle ls prlnLed ln blg bold leLLers under a row of
flower buds and leaves lLs copyrlghLed slogan
8LL8 nA 8LL8!
Whereas SMCs boLLle carrles no slogan
(3) 1he back of Lhe SAn MlCuLL ALL lLSLn boLLle carrles Lhe SMC logo
whereas Lhe 8LL8 ALL lLSLn boLLle has no logo
(6) 1he SAn MlCuLL ALL lLSLn boLLle cap ls sLamped wlLh a coaL of arms
and Lhe words San Mlguel 8rewery hlllpplnes enclrcllng Lhe same
1he 8LL8 ALL lLSLn boLLle cap ls sLamped wlLh Lhe name 8LL8 ln Lhe
cenLer surrounded by Lhe words Asla 8rewery lncorporaLed hlllpplnes
(7) llnally Lhere ls a subsLanLlal prlce dlfference beLween 8LL8 ALL lLSLn
(currenLly aL 423 per boLLle) and SAn MlCuLL ALL lLSLn (currenLly aL
700 per boLLle) Cne who pays only 423 for a boLLle of beer cannoL expecL
Lo recelve San Mlguel ale llsen from Lhe sLorekeeper or barLender
1he facL LhaL Lhe words pole pllseo are parL of A8ls Lrademark does noL
consLlLuLe an lnfrlngemenL of SMCs Lrademark SAn MlCuLL ALL lLSLn
for pale pllsen are generlc words descrlpLlve of Lhe color (pale) of a Lype
of beer (pllsen) whlch ls a llghL bohemlan beer wlLh a sLrong hops flavor
LhaL orlglnaLed ln Lhe ClLy of llsen ln Czechoslovakla and became famous ln
Lhe Mlddle Ages (WebsLers 1hlrd new lnLernaLlonal ulcLlonary of Lhe
Lngllsh Language unabrldged LdlLed by hlllp 8abcock Cove Sprlngfleld
Mass C C Merrlam Co c 1976 page 1716) llsen ls a prlmarlly
geographlcally descrlpLlve word (Sec 4 subpar e 8epubllc AcL no 166 as
lnserLed by Sec 2 of 8A no 638) hence nonreglsLerable and noL
approprlable by any beer manufacLurer 1he 1rademark Law provldes
Sec 4 1he owner of Lrademark Lradename or servlcemark
used Lo dlsLlngulsh hls goods buslness or servlces from Lhe goods
buslness or servlces of oLhers shall have Lhe rlghL Lo reglsLer Lhe
same on Lhe prlnclpal reglsLer unless lL
xxx xxx xxx
(e) ConslsLs of a mark or Lradename whlch when applled Lo or
used ln connecLlon wlLh Lhe goods buslness or servlces of Lhe
appllcanL ls metely Jesctlptlve ot Jeceptlvely mlsJesctlptlve of
tbem or when applled Lo or used ln connecLlon wlLh Lhe goods
buslness or servlces of Lhe appllcanL lsptlmotlly qeoqtopblcolly
Jesctlptlve or decepLlvely mlsdescrlpLlve of Lhem or ls prlmarlly
merely a surname (Lmphasls supplled)
1he words pale pllsen may noL be approprlaLed by SMC for lLs excluslve use
even lf Lhey are parL of lLs reglsLered Lrademark SAn MlCuLL ALL lLSLn
any more Lhan such descrlpLlve words as evaporaLed mllk LomaLo
keLchup cheddar cheese corn flakes and cooklng oll may be
approprlaLed by any slngle manufacLurer of Lhese food producLs for no oLher
reason Lhan LhaL he was Lhe flrsL Lo use Lhem ln hls reglsLered Lrademark
lnMosso netmooos 5A vs ultectot of loteots 94 hll 136 139 (1933) lL
was held LhaL a dealer ln shoes cannoL reglsLer LeaLher Shoes as hls
Lrademark because LhaL would be merely descrlpLlve and lL would be un[usL
Lo deprlve oLher dealers ln leaLher shoes of Lhe rlghL Lo use Lhe same words
wlLh reference Lo Lhelr merchandlse no one may approprlaLe generlc or
descrlpLlve words 1hey belong Lo Lhe publlc domaln (Cng Al Cul vs ulrecLor
of aLenLs 96 hll 673 676 1933)
A word or a comblnaLlon of words whlch ls merely descrlpLlve of
an arLlcle of Lrade or of lLs composlLlon characLerlsLlcs or
quallLles cannoL be approprlaLed and proLecLed as a Lrademark Lo
Lhe excluslon of lLs use by oLhers lnasmuch as all persons have
an equal rlghL Lo produce and vend slmllar arLlcles Lhey also have
Lhe rlghL Lo descrlbe Lhem properly and Lo use any approprlaLe
language or words for LhaL purpose and oo petsoo coo
opptoptlote to blmself excloslvely ooy wotJ ot exptessloo
ptopetly Jesctlptlve of tbe ottlcle lts poolltles loqteJleots ot
cbotoctetlstlcs and Lhus llmlL oLher persons ln Lhe use of language
approprlaLe Lo Lhe descrlpLlon of Lhelr manufacLures tbe tlqbt to
tbe ose of socb looqooqe eloq commoo to oll 1hls rule excludlng
descrlpLlve Lerms has also been held Lo apply Lo Lradenames As
Lo wheLher words employed fall wlLhln Lhls prohlblLlon lL ls sald
LhaL Lhe Lrue LesL ls noL wheLher Lhey are exhausLlvely descrlpLlve
of Lhe arLlcle deslgnaLed buL wheLher ln Lhemselves and as Lhey
are commonly used by Lhose who undersLand Lhelr meanlng Lhey
are reasonably lndlcaLlve and descrlpLlve of Lhe Lhlng lnLended lf
Lhey are Lhus descrlpLlve and noL arblLrary Lhey cannoL be
approprlaLed from general use and become Lhe excluslve properLy
of anyone (32 Am !ur 342343)
CLhers may use Lhe same or slmllar descrlpLlve word ln
connecLlon wlLh Lhelr own wares provlded Lhey Lake proper sLeps
Lo prevenL Lhe publlc belng decelved (8lchmond 8emedles Co vs
ur Mlles Medlcal Co 16 L 2d 398)
A descrlpLlve word may be admlLLedly dlsLlncLlve especlally lf
Lhe user ls Lhe flrsL creaLor of Lhe arLlcle lL wlll however be
denled proLecLlon noL because lL lacks dlsLlncLlveness buL raLher
because oLhers are equally enLlLled Lo lLs use (2 Callman unfalr
CompeLlLlon and 1rademarks pp 869870) (Lmphasls supplled)
1he clrcumsLance LhaL Lhe manufacLurer of 8LL8 ALL lLSLn Asla 8rewery
lncorporaLed has prlnLed lLs name all over Lhe boLLle of lLs beer producL on
Lhe label on Lhe back of Lhe boLLle as well as on Lhe boLLle cap dlsproves
SMCs charge LhaL A8l dlshonesLly and fraudulenLly lnLends Lo palm off lLs
8LL8 ALL lLSLn as SMCs producL ln vlew of Lhe vlslble dlfferences
beLween Lhe Lwo producLs Lhe CourL belleves lL ls qulLe unllkely LhaL a
cusLomer of average lnLelllgence would mlsLake a boLLle of 8LL8 ALL lLSLn
for SAn MlCuLL ALL lLSLn
1he facL LhaL 8LL8 ALL lLSLn llke SAn MlCuLL ALL lLSLn ls boLLled ln
ambercolored sLelnle boLLles of 320 ml capaclLy and ls also adverLlsed ln
prlnL broadcasL and Lelevlslon medla does noL necessarlly consLlLuLe unfalr
compeLlLlon
unfalr compeLlLlon ls Lhe employmenL of decepLlon or any oLher means
conLrary Lo good falLh by whlch a person shall pass off Lhe goods
manufacLured by hlm or ln whlch he deals or hls buslness or servlces for
Lhose of anoLher who has already esLabllshed goodwlll for hls slmllar goods
buslness or servlces or any acLs calculaLed Lo produce Lhe same resulL (Sec
29 8epubllc AcL no 166 as amended) 1he law furLher enumeraLes Lhe
more common ways of commlLLlng unfalr compeLlLlon Lhus
Sec 29
ln parLlcular and wlLhouL ln any way llmlLlng Lhe scope of unfalr
compeLlLlon Lhe followlng shall be deemed gullLy of unfalr
compeLlLlon
(a) Any person who ln selllng hls goods shall glve Lhem Lhe
general appearance of goods of anoLher manufacLurer or dealer
elLher as Lo Lhe goods Lhemselves or ln Lhe wrapplng of Lhe
packages ln whlch Lhey are conLalned or Lhe devlces or words
Lhereon or ln any oLher feaLure of Lhelr appearance whlch would
be llkely Lo lnfluence purchasers Lo belleve LhaL Lhe goods offered
are Lhose of a manufacLurer or dealer oLher Lhan Lhe acLual
manufacLurer or dealer or who oLherwlse cloLhes Lhe goods wlLh
such appearance as shall decelve Lhe publlc and defraud anoLher
of hls leglLlmaLe Lrade or any subsequenL vendor of such goods or
any agenL of any vendor engaged ln selllng such goods wlLh a llke
purpose
(b) Any person who by any arLlflce or devlce or who employs any
oLher means calculaLed Lo lnduce Lhe false bellef LhaL such person
ls offerlng Lhe servlces of anoLher who has ldenLlfled such servlces
ln Lhe mlnd of Lhe publlc or
(c) Any person who shall make any false sLaLemenL ln Lhe course
of Lrade or who shall commlL any oLher acL conLrary Lo good falLh
of a naLure calculaLed Lo dlscredlL Lhe goods buslness or servlces
of anoLher
ln Lhls case Lhe quesLlon Lo be deLermlned ls wheLher A8l ls uslng a name or
mark for lLs beer LhaL has prevlously come Lo deslgnaLe SMCs beer or
wheLher A8l ls passlng off lLs 8LL8 ALL lLSLn as SMCs SAn MlCuLL ALL
lLSLn
1he unlversal LesL quesLlon ls wheLher Lhe publlc ls llkely Lo be
decelved noLhlng less Lhan conducL Lendlng Lo pass off one mans
goods or buslness as LhaL of anoLher wlll consLlLuLe unfalr
compeLlLlon AcLual or probable decepLlon and confuslon on Lhe
parL of Lhe cusLomers by reason of defendanLs pracLlces musL
always appear (Shell Co of Lhe hlllpplnes LLd vs lnsular
eLroleum 8eflnlng Co LLd eL al 120 hll 434 439)
1he use of A8l of Lhe sLelnle boLLle slmllar buL noL ldenLlcal Lo Lhe SAn
MlCuLL ALL lLSLn boLLle ls noL unlawful As polnLed ouL by A8ls counsel
SMC dld noL lnvenL buL merely borrowed Lhe sLelnle boLLle from abroad and
lL clalms nelLher paLenL nor Lrademark proLecLlon for LhaL boLLle shape and
deslgn (See tollo page 33) 1he Cerveza Lspeclal and Lhe Lfes ale llsen use
Lhe sLelnle boLLle (See LxhlblLs 37u 37L) 1he Lrlal courL found no
lnfrlngemenL of SMCs boLLle
1he courL agrees wlLh defendanL LhaL Lhere ls no lnfrlngemenL of
plalnLlffs boLLle flrsLly because accordlng Lo plalnLlffs wlLness
ueograclas vllladolld lL ls a sLandard Lype of boLLle called sLelnle
and Lo wlLness !ose AnLonlo Carcla lL ls noL a San Mlguel
CorporaLlon deslgn buL a deslgn orlglnally developed ln Lhe unlLed
SLaLes by Lhe Class ConLalner ManufacLurers lnsLlLuLe and
Lherefore lacks excluslvlLy Secondly Lhe shape was never
reglsLered as a Lrademark LxhlblL C ls noL a reglsLraLlon of a
beer boLLle deslgn requlred under 8ep AcL 163 buL Lhe
reglsLraLlon of Lhe name and oLher marks of ownershlp sLamped
on conLalners as requlred by 8ep AcL 623 1hlrdly Lhe neck of
defendanLs boLLle ls much larger and has a dlsLlncL bulge ln lLs
uppermosL parL (p 186 kollo)
1he peLlLloners conLenLlon LhaL boLLle slze shape and color may noL be Lhe
excluslve properLy of any one beer manufacLurer ls well Laken SMCs belng
Lhe flrsL Lo use Lhe sLelnle boLLle does noL glve SMC a vesLed rlghL Lo use lL Lo
Lhe excluslon of everyone else 8elng of funcLlonal or common use and noL
Lhe excluslve lnvenLlon of any one lL ls avallable Lo all who mlghL need Lo use
lL wlLhln Lhe lndusLry nobody can acqulre any excluslve rlghL Lo markeL
arLlcles supplylng slmple human needs ln conLalners or wrappers of Lhe
general form slze and characLer commonly and lmmedlaLely used ln
markeLlng such arLlcles (uy 8unclo vs 1an 1lao 8ok 42 hll 190 194193)
proLecLlon agalnsL lmlLaLlon should be properly conflned Lo
nonfuncLlonal feaLures Lven lf purely funcLlonal elemenLs are
slavlshly copled Lhe resemblance wlll noL supporL an acLlon for
unfalr compeLlLlon and Lhe flrsL user cannoL clalm secondary
meanlng proLecLlon nor can Lhe flrsL user predlcaLe hls clalm Lo
proLecLlon on Lhe argumenL LhaL hls buslness was esLabllshed ln
rellance on any such unpaLenLed nonfuncLlonal feaLure even aL
large expendlLure of money (Callman unfalr CompeLlLlon
1rademarks and Monopolles Sec 1933 4Lh Ld) (eLlLlon for
8evlew p 28)
A8l does noL use SMCs sLelnle boLLle nelLher dld A8l copy lL A8l makes lLs
own sLelnle boLLle whlch has a faL bulglng neck Lo dlfferenLlaLe lL from SMCs
boLLle 1he amber color ls a funcLlonal feaLure of Lhe beer boLLle As polnLed
ouL by A8l all boLLled beer produced ln Lhe hlllpplnes ls conLalned and sold
ln ambercolored boLLles because amber ls Lhe mosL effecLlve color ln
prevenLlng Lransmlsslon of llghL and provldes Lhe maxlmum proLecLlon Lo
beer As was ruled ln collfotolo ctosbeJ ltolt cotpototloo vs @oylot 8 ooJ
cooJy co 38 l2d 883 a merchanL cannoL be en[olned from uslng a Lype or
color of boLLle where Lhe same has Lhe useful purpose of proLecLlng Lhe
conLenLs from Lhe deleLerlous effecLs of llghL rays Moreover no one may
have a monopoly of any color noL only beer buL mosL medlclnes wheLher ln
llquld or LableL form are sold ln ambercolored boLLles
1haL Lhe A8l boLLle has a 320 ml capaclLy ls noL due Lo a deslre Lo lmlLaLe
SMCs boLLle because LhaL boLLle capaclLy ls Lhe sLandard prescrlbed under
MeLrlcaLlon Clrcular no 778 daLed 4 uecember 1979 of Lhe ueparLmenL of
1rade MeLrlc SysLem 8oard
WlLh regard Lo Lhe whlLe label of boLh beer boLLles A8l explalned LhaL lL used
Lhe color whlLe for lLs label because whlLe presenLs Lhe sLrongesL conLrasL Lo
Lhe amber color of A8ls boLLle lL ls also Lhe mosL economlcal Lo use on
labels and Lhe easlesL Lo bake ln Lhe furnace (p 16 1Sn of SepLember 20
1988) no one can have a monopoly of Lhe color amber for boLLles nor of
whlLe for labels nor of Lhe recLangular shape whlch ls Lhe usual conflguraLlon
of labels needless Lo say Lhe shape of Lhe boLLle and of Lhe label ls
unlmporLanL WhaL ls all lmporLanL ls Lhe name of Lhe producL wrlLLen on Lhe
label of Lhe boLLle for LhaL ls how one beer may be dlsLlngulshed form Lhe
oLhers
ln uy 8ooclo v @oo @loo 8ok 42 hll 190 196197 where Lwo compeLlng Lea
producLs were boLh labelled as lormosan Lea boLh sold ln 3ounce packages
made of ordlnary wrapplng paper of convenLlonal color boLh wlLh labels
conLalnlng deslgns drawn ln green lnk and Chlnese characLers wrlLLen ln red
lnk one label showlng a doubledecked [ar ln Lhe cenLer Lhe oLher a flower
poL Lhls courL found LhaL Lhe resemblances beLween Lhe deslgns were noL
sufflclenL Lo mlslead Lhe ordlnary lnLelllgenL buyer hence Lhere was no
unfalr compeLlLlon 1he CourL held
ln order LhaL Lhere may be decepLlon of Lhe buylng publlc ln
Lhe sense necessary Lo consLlLuLe unfalr compeLlLlon lL ls
necessary Lo suppose a publlc accusLomed Lo buy and Lherefore
Lo some exLenL famlllar wlLh Lhe goods ln quesLlon 1he LesL of
fraudulenL slmulaLlon ls Lo be found ln Lhe llkellhood of Lhe
decepLlon of persons ln some measure acqualnLed wlLh an
esLabllshed deslgn and deslrous of purchaslng Lhe commodlLy
wlLh whlch LhaL deslgn has been assoclaLed 1he LesL ls noL found
ln Lhe decepLlon or posslblllLy of Lhe decepLlon of Lhe person
who knows noLhlng abouL Lhe deslgn whlch has been
counLerfelLed and who musL be lndlfferenL as beLween LhaL and
Lhe oLher 1he slmulaLlon ln order Lo be ob[ecLlonable musL be
such as appears llkely Lo mlslead Lhe ordlnarlly lnLelllgenL buyer
who has a need Lo supply and ls famlllar wlLh Lhe arLlcle LhaL he
seeks Lo purchase
1he maln LhrusL of SMCs complalnL lf noL lnfrlngemenL of lLs Lrademark buL
unfalr compeLlLlon arlslng form Lhe allegedly confuslng slmllarlLy ln Lhe
general appearance or Lrade dress of A8ls 8LL8 ALL lLSLn beslde SMCs
SAn MlCuLL ALL lLSLn (p 209 kollo)
SMC clalms LhaL Lhe Lrade dress of 8LL8 ALL lLSLn ls confuslngly
slmllar Lo lLs SAn MlCuLL ALL lLSLn because boLh are boLLled ln 320 ml
sLelnle Lype ambercolored boLLles wlLh whlLe recLangular labels
Powever when as ln Lhls case Lhe names of Lhe compeLlng producLs are
clearly dlfferenL and Lhelr respecLlve sources are promlnenLly prlnLed on Lhe
label and on oLher parLs of Lhe boLLle mere slmllarlLy ln Lhe shape and slze of
Lhe conLalner and label does noL consLlLuLe unfalr compeLlLlon 1he sLelnle
boLLle ls a sLandard boLLle for beer and ls unlversally used SMC dld noL
lnvenL lL nor paLenL lL 1he facL LhaL SMCs boLLle ls reglsLered under 8A no
623 (as amended by 8A 3700 An AcL Lo 8egulaLe Lhe use of uuly SLamped or
Marked 8oLLles 8oxes Casks kegs 8arrels and CLher Slmllar ConLalners)
slmply prohlblLs manufacLurers of oLher foodsLuffs from Lhe unauLhorlzed
use of SMCs boLLles by refllllng Lhese wlLh Lhelr producLs lL was noL
uncommon Lhen for producLs such as potls (flsh sauce) and toyo (soy sauce)
Lo be sold ln recycled SAn MlCuLL ALL lLSLn boLLles 8eglsLraLlon of SMCs
beer boLLles dld noL glve SMC a paLenL on Lhe sLelnle or on boLLles of slmllar
slze shape or color
MosL conLalners are sLandardlzed because Lhey are usually made by Lhe
same manufacLurer Mllk wheLher ln powdered or llquld form ls sold ln
unlform Lln cans 1he same can be sald of Lhe sLandard keLchup or vlnegar
boLLle wlLh lLs famlllar elongaLed neck Many oLher grocery lLems such as
coffee mayonnalse plckles and peanuL buLLer are sold ln sLandard glass [ars
1he manufacLurers of Lhese foodsLuffs have equal rlghL Lo use Lhese
sLandards Llns boLLles and [ars for Lhelr producLs Cnly Lhelr respecLlve labels
dlsLlngulsh Lhem from each oLher !usL as no mllk producer may sue Lhe
oLhers for unfalr compeLlLlon because Lhey sell Lhelr mllk ln Lhe same slze
and shape of mllk can whlch he uses nelLher may SMC clalm unfalr
compeLlLlon arlslng from Lhe facL LhaL A8ls 8LL8 ALL lLSLn ls sold llke
SMCs SAn MlCuLL ALL lLSLn ln amber sLelnle boLLles
1he record does noL bear ouL SMCs apprehenslon LhaL 8LL8 ALL lLSLn ls
belng passed off as SAn MlCuLL ALL lLSLn 1hls ls unllkely Lo happen for
consumers or buyers of beer generally order Lhelr beer by brand As polnLed
ouL by A8ls counsel ln supermarkeLs and tleoJos beer ls ordered by brand
and Lhe cusLomer surrenders hls empLy replacemenL boLLles or pays a
deposlL Lo guaranLee Lhe reLurn of Lhe empLles lf hls empLles are SAn
MlCuLL ALL lLSLn he wlll geL SAn MlCuLL ALL lLSLn as replacemenL
ln sarlsarl sLores beer ls also ordered from Lhe tloJeto by brand 1he same ls
Lrue ln resLauranLs pubs and beer gardens beer ls ordered from Lhe
walLers by brand (Op clt page 30)
Conslderlng furLher LhaL SAn MlCuLL ALL lLSLn has vlrLually monopollzed
Lhe domesLlc beer markeL for Lhe pasL hundred years Lhose who have been
drlnklng no oLher beer buL SAn MlCuLL ALL lLSLn Lhese many years
cerLalnly know Lhelr beer Loo well Lo be decelved by a newcomer ln Lhe
markeL lf Lhey gravlLaLe Lo A8ls cheaper beer lL wlll noL be because Lhey are
confused or decelved buL because Lhey flnd Lhe compeLlng producL Lo Lhelr
LasLe
Cur declslon ln Lhls case wlll noL dlmlnlsh our rullng ln uel MonLe
CorporaLlon vs CourL of Appeals and Sunshlne Sauce ManufacLurlng
lndusLrles 181 SC8A 410 419
3
LhaL
Lo deLermlne wheLher a Lrademark has been lnfrlnged we
musL conslder Lhe mark as a whole and noL as dlssecLed lf Lhe
buyer ls decelved lL ls aLLrlbuLable Lo Lhe marks as a LoLallLy noL
usually Lo any parL of lL
1haL rullng may noL apply Lo oll klnds of producLs 1he CourL lLself cauLloned
LhaL ln resolvlng cases of lnfrlngemenL and unfalr compeLlLlon Lhe courLs
should Lake lnLo conslderaLlon several facLors whlch would affecL lLs
concluslon Lo wlL Lhe age Lralnlng and educaLlon of Lhe usual purchaser
Lhe naLure and cosL of Lhe arLlcle wheLher Lhe arLlcle ls boughL for
lmmedlaLe consumpLlon and also Lhe condlLlons under whlch lL ls usually
purchased (181 SC8A 410 418419)
1he uel MonLe case lnvolved cotsop a common household lLem whlch ls
boughL off Lhe sLore shelves by housewlves and house help who lf Lhey are
llllLeraLe and cannoL ldenLlfy Lhe producL by name or brand would very llkely
ldenLlfy lL by mere recollecLlon of lLs appearance Slnce Lhe compeLlLor
Sunshlne Sauce Mfg lndusLrles noL only used recycled uel MonLe boLLles for
lLs caLsup (desplLe Lhe warnlng embossed on Lhe boLLles uel MonLe
CorporaLlon noL Lo be refllled) buL also used labels whlch were a
colorable lmlLaLlon of uel MonLes label we held LhaL Lhere was
lnfrlngemenL of uel MonLes Lrademark and unfalr compeLlLlon by Sunshlne
Cur rullng ln uel MonLe would noL apply Lo beer whlch ls noL usually plcked
from a sLore shelf buL ordered by brand by Lhe beer drlnker hlmself from Lhe
sLorekeeper or walLer ln a pub or resLauranL
Moreover SMCs brand or Lrademark SAn MlCuLL ALL lLSLn ls noL
lnfrlnged by A8ls mark 8LL8 nA 8LL8 or 8LL8 ALL lLSLn A8l makes
lLs own boLLle wlLh a bulglng neck Lo dlfferenLlaLe lL from SMCs boLLle and
prlnLs A8ls name ln Lhree (3) places on sald boLLle (fronL back and boLLle
cap) Lo prove LhaL lL has no lnLenLlon Lo pass of lLs 8LL8 as SAn MlCuLL
1here ls no confuslng slmllarlLy beLween Lhe compeLlng beers for Lhe name
of one ls SAn MlCuLL whlle Lhe compeLlLor ls plaln 8LL8 and Lhe polnLs
of dlsslmllarlLy beLween Lhe Lwo ouLnumber Lhelr polnLs of slmllarlLy
eLlLloner A8l has nelLher lnfrlnged SMCs Lrademark nor commlLLed unfalr
compeLlLlon wlLh Lhe laLLers SAn MlCuLL ALL lLSLn producL Whlle lLs
8LL8 ALL lLSLn admlLLedly compeLes wlLh Lhe laLLer ln Lhe open markeL
LhaL compeLlLlon ls nelLher unfalr nor fraudulenL Pence we musL deny
SMCs prayer Lo suppress lL
WPL8LlC8L flndlng Lhe peLlLlon for revlew merlLorlous Lhe same ls hereby
granLed 1he declslon and resoluLlon of Lhe CourL of Appeals ln CAC8 Cv
no 28104 are hereby seL aslde and LhaL of Lhe Lrlal courL ls 8LlnS1A1Lu and
Alll8MLu CosLs agalnsL Lhe prlvaLe respondenL