• SMC wins vs. Tanduay on Ginebra Kapitan case

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    THE Court of Appeals (CA) ordered Tanduay Distillers Inc. (TDI) to stop manufacturing and sale of its “Kapitan” gin brand in connection with the lawsuit for alleged trademark infringement and unfair competition filed by Ginebra San Miguel Inc. (GSMI).

    In a 21-page decision penned by Associate Justice Isaias Dicdican and concurred in by Associate Justices Nina Antoni-Valenzuela and Victoria Isabel Paredes, the CA’s Special Thirteenth Division granted the petition for review filed by GSMI as it reversed and sets aside the July 25, 2012 decision as well as the October 5, 2012 Order of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 211 of the National Capital Judicial Regional in Mandaluyong City in favor of TDI.

    The appellate court ordered TDI to:

    1.) Remove from the market all its gin products bearing the name/ mark “Ginebra” and all the infringing or unfairly competing goods in the possession of it, its employees, agents, representative, dealers including, all bottles, labels, signs, prints, packages, wrappers, receptacles and advertisements bearing the mark “Ginebra” and that the same be destroyed or be disposed of outside the channels of commerce.

    2.) Cease and desist from using the word/ mark “Ginebra” in any of its gin products.

    3.) Render an accounting of the gross sales of tis “Ginebra Kapitan” products from the time of the filing of the instant case up to the finality of this judgment and to pay to GSMI an amount equivalent to fifty percent (50%) of the total gross sales.

    4.) Pay to GSMI P2,000,000 as exemplary damages and P500,000 as attorney’s fees.

    In May 2003, TDI launched to the public a gin product bearing the name “Ginebra Kapitan” and, subsequently, another gin product with the name “Gin Kapitan.”

    GSMI filed several pleas before Mandaluyong RTC to stop the sale, manufacturing and advertisement of “Gin Kapitan” but it did not win even on the merit, prompting the beverage firm to seek redress with the appellate court.

    In the ruling, the CA also remanded the case to the court a quo for the purpose only of the accounting of the gross sales of TDI’s “Ginebra Kapitan” and for the determination of the amount of actual and compensatory damages to be awarded to GSMI.”

    The tribunal held that there was deliberate intent on the part of TDI to engage in unfair competition.

    “Taking into the account the deliberate intent of TDI to engage in unfair competition, it is only proper that GSMI be awarded exemplary damages,” the ruling read.

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