Concurrent trademark infringement and unfair competition in the Philippines
The Supreme Court reiterated the principle that “the gravamen of trademark infringement” is the likelihood of confusion. The Court ruled that the elements of trademark infringement as well as unfair competition have been established. McDonald’s is a corporation organised under the laws of Delaware, United States. It operates a global chain of fast food restaurants. McDonald’s and its Philippine franchisee, McGeorge Food Industries, Inc., are the petitioners before the Court. The Court struck down the argument of the respondent LC Big Mak that the trademark is not capable of exclusive appropriation since the word “Big” is generic and descriptive. The Court recognised two tests developed by jurisprudence to determine likelihood of confusion: the dominancy test and the holistic test. The Court also cited the two requisite elements for an action on unfair competition, which are: confusing similarity in the general appearance of the goods; and intent to deceive the public and defraud a competitor.