San Miguel Food and Beverage, Inc. v. Phil. Jacobe Ventures, Inc., IPV Case No. 10-2019-00007
San Miguel Food and Beverage, Inc. (“San Miguel”), one of the largest food and beverage conglomerates in the Philippines, owns the iconic “MAGNOLIA” mark and its numerous variations and manufactures, markets, and distributes products under the brand since the 1920s. Meanwhile, sometime in August 2018, Phil. Jacobe Ventures, Inc. (“Phil. Jacobe”) opened M Bakery – a franchise of Magnolia Bakery operating in New York City, U.S.A. – in Bonifacio Global City, where it serves a variety of desserts such as cupcakes, banana pudding, cakes, pies, as well as non-alcoholic beverages such as coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. Despite its lack of trademark registration for the mark “MAGNOLIA” in the Philippines, Phil. Jacobe used in its Facebook and Instagram pages the hashtags #MagnoliaBakery and #MagnoliaBakeryManila in its promotions and has been selling merchandise such as mugs and tumblers bearing Complainant’s mark “MAGNOLIA” in its sole branch.
To restrain Phil. Jacobe from committing further infringing acts in violation of San Miguel’s rights over its mark “MAGNOLIA”, on 29 April 2019, our firm filed on behalf of San Miguel a Complaint for Trademark Infringement and Unfair Competition with Prayer for Damages and Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction (“Complaint”) against Phil. Jacobe with the Bureau of Legal Affairs of the Philippine Intellectual Property Office (“IPO-BLA”). The Complaint seeks to hold Phil. Jacobe liable for trademark infringement and unfair competition, as well as restrain Phil. Jacobe from committing further infringing acts in violation of San Miguel’s rights over its mark “MAGNOLIA”, especially its use of San Miguel’s “MAGNOLIA” mark in its hashtags and social media posts.
Citing San Miguel’s persuasive arguments, the IPO-BLA on 08 July 2019 granted San Miguel’s application for the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order against Phil. Jacobe holding that San Miguel was able to clearly and unmistakably show its rights over the trademark “MAGNOLIA”, and has sufficiently proved that Phil. Jacobe’s use of the hashtag #MagnoliaBakeryManila and “Magnolia Bakery” in its social media account may give rise to an undue benefit to Phil. Jacobe and irreparable harm to San Miguel.