Commercial Law

M.A. Clarke vs Manila Candy Co.

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G.R. No. L-10487 – 27 Phil. 312 – Mercantile Law – Intellectual Property Law – Law on Trademarks, Service Marks and Trade Names – Trademark Infringement – Unfair Competition

Since 1905, M.A. Clarke has been producing and selling candies in the Philippines. His trademark has always been an image of a rooster or locally known as “manok” (Manoc). Thus, his candies have been known as “Manok candies”. He had the trademark registered in November 1911. Later, two of his men left his employ and they established a candy manufacturing company of their own, the company was called Manila Candy. For their trademark, they chose to use the image of two roosters which are in a fighting position. In June 1912, Clarke sued Manila Candy for unfair competition.

ISSUE: Whether or not Manila Candy is guilty of unfair competition.

HELD: Yes. Though indeed, Manila Candy’s trademark of two roosters is visually different from Clarke’s trademark of an image of just one rooster, no reason has been suggested for the use of this particular design with its predominant display of two roosters as the trademark of Manila Candy other than that alleged by Clarke; that is to say, that Manila Candy well knowing that Clarke had used a rooster as his trade-mark, hoped to secure an unfair advantage by misleading the public, and inducing it to believe that its candies bearing a representation of two roosters were made in Clarke’s factory, which had always marked its goods with one or more picture/s of a single rooster, and at the same time had made extensive use of this design in connection with its advertising campaigns. There were a hundred other animals or images that could have been used by Manila Candy to promote its new brand of candies yet it chose to use that of the established trademark used by Clarke.

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