July 25, 2024

At the end of May, Tito, Vic, and Joey, collectively known as TVJ announced they would be departing production company Television and Production Exponents, Inc. (TAPE), which produces the long-running show “Eat Bulaga!” at GMA 7.
By July 1, the show will commence anew at TV 5 and the question now is, will they use the same title in their new home?
TV host and former senator Tito Sotto claims he and his fellow host Joey de Leon is the rightful ownerof the noontime variety show’s name.
Tito said as “creators” of the name and program of “Eat Bulaga!” they, and not TAPE, are the owners of the trademark.
In February this year, de Leon applied under Section 41 of the Intellectual Property Law with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). The section refers to entertainment services. On the other hand, 10 years ago, TAPE registered with IPO under Sections 16, 18, 21, and 25 (merchandise-related content) but note that the only active registered trademark under TAPE for merchandise-related content expired on June 14, thus moot and academic.
The usual rule in IPO is “first in registration” and having filed for ownership of the logo of “Eat Bulaga!” for goods or merchandise, TAPE prevails. Why did TVJ not object TAPE’s application? The only problem for TAPE is its use of the trademark expired so back to square one for them as I am sure they will not be able to renew the same without objection from TVJ.
While there are two other separate filings, one expired, so the precedent shall now be based on jurisprudence – that ownership is at the point of creation. The IPO cannot now deny TVJ that right.
In fact, entries on the database of the IPO also show that “Eat Bulaga!” applications by TAPE were considered ended and removed from register for non-filing of Declaration of Actual Use.
Trademark and copyright are both forms of intellectual property, which can be defined as intangible assets, in other words, creations of the mind – such as inventions, literary and artistic works, designs, symbols, names, and images used in commerce.
When it comes to intellectual property for businesses, this can largely encompass any business ideas, as well as works or processes that come from those ideas. This being said, trademarks and copyrights, as well as patents, are used to legally protect intellectual property.
The main difference, therefore, between copyright and trademark is that, although both offer intellectual property protection, they protect different types of assets and have different registration requirements.
Overall, copyright protects literary and artistic materials and works, such as books and videos, and is automatically generated upon creation of the work.
A trademark, on the other hand, protects items that help define a company brand, such as a business logo or slogan, and require more extensive registration through the government for the greatest legal protections.
The main difference between copyright and trademark is that copyright protects original expressions in works whereas trademark protects the business.
Let’s then wait and see on July 1 when TV5 launches their own version of the 44-year or more show “Eat Bulaga”!
Sigh.