In a recent development, the legal representative of Television and Production Exponents Inc. (TAPE), the renowned producer behind the immensely popular noontime show “Eat Bulaga,” has offered insights on the complaint filed against the company and GMA Network. The complaint, lodged by Tito and Vic Sotto, Joey de Leon, and Jenny Ferre, alleges copyright infringement and unfair competition, invoking the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines (R.A. No. 8293), and has been submitted to the Marikina Regional Trial Court Branch 273.
Responding to the allegations, TAPE lawyer Maggie Abraham-Garduque clarified that while she had not yet received a copy of the complaint, if the claims of infringement and unfair competition regarding the name “Eat Bulaga” were accurate, they would not fall under the purview of copyright infringement. Abraham-Garduque explained that the name, design, and logo of “Eat Bulaga” are classified as a “trademark,” making them exempt from copyright regulations. She emphasized that TAPE, Inc. holds the registration for the trade name “Eat Bulaga,” preventing the complainants from alleging infringement against the rightful owner of the trademark. Abraham-Garduque further noted that the petition to cancel the “Eat Bulaga” trademark is still pending before the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). Until the petition is granted, the trademark and logo will remain the property of TAPE Inc.
Abraham-Garduque assured that TAPE Inc. will abide by the summons to file an answer within 30 days upon receipt of the complaint. Notably, she previously served as the legal counsel for comedian Vhong Navarro in his high-profile rape case.
Earlier, in an interview with Manila Bulletin, Abraham-Garduque highlighted that TAPE holds prior registration of the “Eat Bulaga” trademark, supported by a certificate of registration and a letter issued by the IPO.
“Eat Bulaga” has enjoyed immense popularity and has become an integral part of Filipino culture since its inception in 1979. The variety show features a mix of comedy sketches, talent competitions, interactive games, and musical performances, captivating audiences across generations for over four decades. Known for its engaging hosts, including Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, Joey de Leon, and numerous guest celebrities, “Eat Bulaga” has amassed a dedicated fan base and continues to entertain viewers with its unique blend of humor and entertainment.
With its trademark catchphrases, such as “Dabarkads,” and remarkable segments like “Bawal Judgmental,” “Pinoy Henyo”, Juan For All All For Juan: Bayanihan of the People”, “Bulagaan”, and “Little Miss Philippines,” the show has become ingrained in the collective consciousness of Filipinos, transcending boundaries and connecting with audiences nationwide. The program’s longevity is a testament to its ability to adapt and evolve with the changing times while staying true to its core values of family-friendly entertainment.
In recent years, “Eat Bulaga” has embraced the digital age, leveraging social media platforms to engage with its audience and expand its reach. The show’s segments and contests often trend on various online platforms, creating a buzz among netizens and further cementing its position as a beloved institution in Philippine entertainment.
While the copyright case filed by Tito and Vic Sotto, Joey de Leon, and Jenny Ferre against TAPE and GMA Network remains ongoing, the outcome of this legal battle will undoubtedly have implications for the future of the “Eat Bulaga” franchise. As the proceedings unfold, fans and industry insiders eagerly await the resolution of this dispute, hoping that the show will continue to grace their screens, providing joy, laughter, and unforgettable memories for years to come.
In conclusion, the legal representative of TAPE, Inc. has responded to the copyright infringement and unfair competition case filed against the company and GMA Network. Amidst the ongoing debate surrounding the “Eat Bulaga” trademark, the lawyer emphasized the distinction between trademark and copyright, asserting that the name, design, and logo fall under the former. As the legal process unfolds, the fate of “Eat Bulaga” hangs in the balance, leaving fans and viewers eager for a resolution that ensures the show’s continuation as a beloved variety program.