Victory for Eat Bulaga as Court Rules in Favor of TVJ

'TRULY OURS'
A screenshot from Tito, Vic and Joey's official Facebook page on Friday, Jan. 5, 2024, when Tito Sotto read a court ruling favoring their complaint of copyright infringement on the use of 'Eat Bulaga' by the noontime show's former producer, Television and Production Exponents (TAPE) Inc., and GMA Network, Inc. which had been airing the program since 1979 before moving to TV5. SCREENGRAB FROM TVJ OFFICIAL
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MANILA, Philippines: In a recent development, the iconic trio of Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, and Joey de Leon, popularly known as TVJ, has emerged victorious once again. After celebrating a favorable decision from the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) regarding the “Eat Bulaga” trademark, the trio kickstarted 2024 with yet another court win.

TVJ took to their official Facebook page on Friday afternoon to share the news that the Marikina Regional Trial Court has ruled in their favor in a copyright infringement and unfair competition complaint against Television and Production Exponents (TAPE) Inc. and GMA Network, Inc.

The case, filed under Republic Act 8293, also known as the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, with an application for the issuance of a Writ of Preliminary Injunction, was brought before Marikina RTC Branch 273 on June 30, 2023.

TVJ, along with the “Legit Dabarkads” hosts, had left the show on May 31, citing a series of alleged issues with TAPE. Prior to their departure, the producer had aired previous episodes of the show, only to return with new hosts led by Paolo Contis and former Manila mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno.

Vic Sotto revealed that they were still at their studio on Friday, planning for their ongoing program currently airing on TV5, when Tito Sotto received the good news via email at exactly 4:23 p.m.

Excitedly, Tito Sotto proceeded to read the dispositive portion of the court decision, which signifies the judgment or resolution of a complaint. The court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, the Sottos and de Leon, against the defendants, TAPE Inc. and GMA Network Inc., and issued the following directives:

1. Prohibiting the defendants from using the trademarks EB, Eat Bulaga, and EB, along with any associated logos, in their shows, programs, projects, or promotions.
2. Prohibiting the defendants from using the Eat Bulaga jingle/song or any part thereof in their shows, programs, projects, or promotions.
3. Prohibiting the defendants from airing and broadcasting any recorded episodes of the Eat Bulaga show prior to May 31, 2023, including its segments or any portion thereof, on all channels and platforms.

Furthermore, the court directed the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines to cancel the trademark registrations held by Television Production Exponents Incorporated.

Upon hearing the verdict, Vic Sotto exclaimed in Filipino, “In other words, we won. Eat Bulaga is truly ours.”

This latest court victory reinforces TVJ’s claim over the “Eat Bulaga” trademark and its associated intellectual property rights. It serves as a significant milestone in their ongoing legal battle with TAPE Inc. and GMA Network Inc., solidifying their position as the rightful owners of the iconic television show.

The decision also highlights the importance of intellectual property rights in the entertainment industry. Copyright infringement and unfair competition can have severe consequences, both financially and creatively, for content creators. This ruling sets a precedent for protecting the rights of artists and ensuring a fair playing field in the media landscape.

As TVJ continues to navigate their careers and entertain audiences, this legal triumph provides them with a renewed sense of ownership and control over their intellectual property. It serves as a reminder of their enduring legacy and the impact they have made on the Philippine entertainment industry.

In conclusion, TVJ’s recent court victory in the copyright infringement and unfair competition case against TAPE Inc. and GMA Network Inc. is a significant milestone for the trio. It solidifies their claim over the “Eat Bulaga” trademark and reinforces the importance of protecting intellectual property rights in the entertainment industry. As TVJ moves forward, they can do so with a renewed sense of ownership and confidence in their creative endeavors.

Source: The Manila Times

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