Lawyer expressing shock and disappointment over court ruling in ‘Eat Bulaga’ copyright case

Marikina Court Rules in Favor of Tito, Vic and Joey and Jeny Ferre in “Eat Bulaga” Copyright Infringement Case

The legal counsel for the Television and Production Exponents Inc. (TAPE) expressed shock and dismay at the recent decision of a Marikina court that ruled in favor of Tito and Vic Sotto, and Joey de Leon, known as TVJ, and Jeny Ferre in a copyright infringement case against the company and GMA Network.

The decision, dated December 22 but not released until January 5, was made by the Marikina Regional Trial Court Branch 273, and it permanently enjoins TAPE and GMA Network from using “Eat Bulaga,” “EB,” and “Eat Bulaga and EB,” including associated logos. The court also barred the use of the “Eat Bulaga” jingle and ruled that all recorded “Eat Bulaga” episodes before May 31, 2023, cannot be aired.

TAPE was also ordered to pay the plaintiffs P2 million for unfair competition and copyright infringement, as well as exemplary damages of P500,000 and attorney’s fees of P500,000.

Maggie Abraham-Garduque, TAPE’s legal counsel, was shocked by the decision, saying the court decided on matters outside the prayer in the complaint. She noted that the cancellation of the “Eat Bulaga” trademarks and injunction on “EB” and “Eat Bulaga” trademarks, which, she said, are not copyrightable and therefore, not part of copyright infringement.

The decision has been met with opposition from TAPE, and they plan to file a petition for review before the Court of Appeals in accordance with the 2020 revised rules of procedure for intellectual property cases.

TVJ left “Eat Bulaga” and TAPE last year.

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