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TVJ files complaint against TAPE, GMA over ‘Eat Bulaga!’ copyright

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TVJ files complaint against TAPE, GMA over ‘Eat Bulaga!’ copyright

TVJ. Original 'Eat Bulaga' hosts Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, and Joey de Leon transfer to TV5 after announcing their departure from former production company TAPE.

TVJ's Facebook

(UPDATED) The original hosts of the noontime show challenge their former network's continued use of the show's name
TVJ files complaint against TAPE, GMA over ‘Eat Bulaga!’ copyright

MANILA, Philippines – Eat Bulaga! hosts Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, and Joey de Leon – known collectively as TVJ – have filed a complaint against former production company TAPE Inc and former network, GMA for alleged “copyright infringement and unfair competition.”

According to News5, TVJ, along with Eat Bulaga! executive Jenny Ferre, filed the complaint on Friday, June 30, while a summons was received by the defendants on Wednesday, July 12. 

Following the summons, TAPE and GMA have 30 days to file a response with the court.

The complaint stems from TAPE and GMA’s continued airing of Eat Bulaga! episodes and use of the show’s name. 

On May 31, TVJ – who have been hosting Eat Bulaga! since it first aired in 1979 – announced their departure from TAPE following internal conflicts with the company. Their co-hosts also submitted their resignations from TAPE on the same day.

After TVJ’s departure, Eat Bulaga! went back on air on GMA on June 5 with a new set of hosts including Paolo Contis, Buboy Villar, Mavy and Cassy Legaspi, and Alexa Miro.

Meanwhile, TVJ transferred to the Manny Pangilinan-owned network, TV5. Their new noontime show EAT premiered on the network on July 1, to high ratings.

As for the Eat Bulaga! name – the trademark was previously owned by TAPE until June 14, when their registration expired. TVJ earlier filed a petition seeking to cancel TAPE’s trademark, alleging that the registration was “obtained fraudulently.”

The name itself, however, was created by De Leon, who based it on the name of the kid’s game “Eeeet…bulaga!” – but using the word “eat” since the show airs at noon, which is typically lunch hour. 

According to a report by PEP, TVJ made trademark claims on February 27 and March 22. However, TAPE’s lawyer Maggie Abraham-Garduque said that the Intellectual Property Office acknowledges TAPE as the Eat Bulaga! trademark’s prior registrant.

“It is not a copyright infringement. Eat Bulaga name, the design of the name and the logo is a trademark and not subject of copyright,” she said. 

“TAPE Inc. has the registration of the trade name Eat Bulaga so they cannot file infringement against the registered owner of the trademark,” Garduque added.

“Their petition for cancellation of trademark of Eat Bulaga is still pending before the IPO and until such time that said petition is granted, the trademark Eat Bulaga and EB will be owned by TAPE Inc.” 

GMA Network has since released a statement on the complaint to Philippine Star saying “We will refer the complaint to our legal counsel, Belo Gozon Elma Parel Asuncion & Lucila Law Offices.” –

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