Yahoo wins PH case against ?Yaahoo? biscuit

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US-based Internet giant Yahoo has won its case before the Court of Appeals (CA) against a biscuit company which supposedly used its trademark name “Yaahoo” in its food products.

In an 11-page ruling written by Associate Justice Franchito Diamante and concurred in by Associate Justices Ricardo Rosario and Melchor Sadang, the CA’s Special 15th Division denied the petition for review filed by Valenzuela City-based Sam Lim Corporation (SLC) questioning the ruling dated January 9, 2012 of the Office of the Director General of the Intellectual Property Office against the biscuit company.

Yahoo opposed SLC’s application for registration of the trademark “Yaahoo” under classification for goods before the IPO which covers biscuits and other food products.

The Internet firm argued that SLC’s “Yaahoo” is confusingly similar to its well-known trademark “Yahoo!”. SLC sought to register “Yaahoo” for its peanut butter products.

The IPO’s Director of the Bureau of Legal Affairs sustained on Jan. 16, 2008 Yahoo’s opposition holding that the two, Yahoo and Yaahoo, are confusingly similar.

The SLC sought reconsideration but was denied, prompting it to elevate the case to the CA. However, the CA said the SLC’s petition lacked merit.

The appellate court ruled: “[Yahoo!] was able to present overwhelming evidence proving that it is the true owner and prior user of the mark Yahoo and that it has passed the criteria laid down in Rule 102 of the IPO’s Rules and Regulations on trademarks, among others.” — PNA

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