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Megaworld loses Trump brand case

Posted on May 22, 2012 09:40:10 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

MEGAWORLD CORP. has lost a trademark dispute to American tycoon Donald J. Trump after the Court of Appeals (CA) recently affirmed an administrative decision favoring the foreign businessman.

In a decision promulgated on May 11, the CA’s Special 17th Division upheld the June 2009 decision of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines director-general declaring that “The Trumps” -- which Megaworld wanted to be used to brand a condominium project in Makati City -- was “identical and/or confusingly similar” to the tycoon’s trademark “Trump.”

The case started in June 2007 when Mr. Trump filed a notice of opposition at the state agency’s Bureau of Legal Affairs (BLA) against Megaworld’s trademark application.

Megaworld, for its part, argued that Mr. Trump’s mark “is not well-known internationally and in the Philippines.”

The local real estate firm also stated that brand was coined from “trump,” which in turn originated from “triumph.” The bureau in January 2008 initially sided with Megaworld. But the office of the director-general reversed it in June 2009.

Megaworld then appealed the case with the CA even as it had already renamed its project to “One Central.”

The CA ruled there was “no cogent reason to deviate from the findings of the [director-general].”

The court further noted the popularity of Mr. Trump’s show The Apprentice which is aired here. -- A. E. Barrameda

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