television industry

Joey de Leon wins separate trademark case on use of ‘Eat Bulaga’ – lawyer

Isagani de Castro Jr.

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Joey de Leon wins separate trademark case on use of  ‘Eat Bulaga’  – lawyer

VICTORY. Comedian Joey de Leon gets a win vs TAPE Inc. over his registration application to use 'Eat Bulaga,' which he coined in 1979, for entertainment purposes.

Joey de Leon's Instagram

TAPE loses an appeal that sought to stop comedian Joey de Leon from getting a trademark registration for 'Eat Bulaga' for entertainment purposes such as TV shows, says a lawyer

MANILA, Philippines – Comedians Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, and Joey de Leon (TVJ) have won another trademark dispute, this time involving the use of “Eat Bulaga” for entertainment such as television shows.

Joey de Leon wins separate trademark case on use of  ‘Eat Bulaga’  – lawyer

On his X (formerly Twitter) account, the former Senate president said the appeal of Television and Production Exponents Incorporated (TAPE), blocktimer of Eat Bulaga! on GMA-7, on the use of “Eat Bulaga” for entertainment, has been “dismissed.” 

TVJ’s lawyer, Enrique dela Cruz, told One Balita PH news program on Friday, December 8, that an Intellectual Property of the Philippines (IPOPHL) adjudicator’s ruling on December 4 involved the use of “Eat Bulaga” and the acronym “EB” for merchandise goods” (Class 16, 18, 21, 25) such as paper/printed materials, clothes, leather, shoes, among others.

He disclosed that the IPOPHL has also dismissed TAPE’s appeal on De Leon’s registration of “Eat Bulaga” for entertainment services such as for television shows. This falls under Class 41 of the international classification of goods and services for registration of marks, also known as the Nice Classification. 

De Leon filed his application to register “Eat Bulaga” for entertainment on March 22, 2023. This covers the following categories:

  • entertainer services
  • entertainment services
  • production of shows
  • production of radio and television programs
  • television entertainment
  • providing online videos not downloadable
  • providing television programs via video-on-demand services
  • presentation of live performances
  • presentation of variety shows. 

Dela Cruz said TAPE’s 2013 registration and June 2023 registration renewal of “Eat Bulaga” and “EB” that has been cancelled by an IPOPHL adjudicator was only for merchandise.

He said only De Leon has an application for Class 41, which was opposed by TAPE on the grounds that it already had a certificate of registration for “Eat Bulaga” and “EB.” 

“Yung opposition na-finile ng TAPE, na-deny na din po ng IPO [Intellectual Property Office]. At, just recently, yung apela nile na finile sa [IPO] Bureau of Legal Affairs director, na-dismiss na rin po,” Dela Cruz said. “So, two separate cases, parehong panalo po ang TVJ. So, wala na po talagang hadlang gamitin ng TVJ yung Eat Bulaga at EB marks.” 

(The opposition filed by TAPE has also been denied by IPOPHL. And, just recently, the appeal they filed before the Bureau of Legal Affairs director has also been dismissed. So, two separate cases, both won by TVJ. So, there is really no more hindrance for TVJ to use Eat Bulaga and EB [trade]marks.)

Since TAPE continues to use “Eat Bulaga” and “EB” on its noon show, Dela Cruz said TVJ will seek an injunction from a Marikina Regional Trial Court, where TVJ filed last July a copyright infringement case against TAPE.

Joey de Leon wins separate trademark case on use of  ‘Eat Bulaga’  – lawyer

This petition, Dela Cruz explained, seeks to stop TAPE from using “Eat Bulaga” and “EB” on its show since this is unauthorized. 

He reiterated TVJ’s call for TAPE to respect IPOPHL’s decisions. 

“Habang ikaw ang naaapela, dapat galangin muna yung decision ng IPO,” De la Cruz said. 

(While you are appealing, you should respect the decision of IPOPHL.)

TAPE has insisted that the legal dispute is not yet final, and that it can still appeal any ruling by the IPOPHL.

IPOPHL acknowledged this last Wednesday, December 6, saying TAPE can appeal up to the head of the office, Director General Rowel Barba.

TAPE can also go up to the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court if it continues to get adverse rulings.

Eat Bulaga! is the Philippines longest-running noon show which competes with E.A.T. on TV5 and ABS-CBN’s It’s Showtime now shown on GMA-7’s sister channel, GTV.

TVJ had a bitter corporate dispute with TAPE’s owner, former congressman and ex-convict Romeo Jalosjos Sr., which prompted them to leave the production company in May and move to tycoon Manny Pangilinan’s TV5 on July 1 this year. –


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Isagani de Castro Jr.

Before he joined Rappler as senior desk editor, Isagani de Castro Jr. was longest-serving editor in chief of ABS-CBN News online. He had reported for the investigative magazine Newsbreak, Asahi Shimbun Manila, and Business Day. He has written chapters for books on politics, international relations, and civil society.