FRUIT OF THE LOOM V. CA
133 SCRA 405
1. Petitioner is a corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the State of Rhode Island, USA. It is the registrant of the trademark FRUIT OF THE LOOM in the Philippine Patent Office and was issued two Certificates of Registration, one of which was in 1957 and the other in 1958.
2. Private Respondent, a domestic corporation, is the registrant of the trademark FRUIT FOR EVE in the Philippine Patent Office.
3. Both are involved in the merchandise of garments.
4. Petitioner filed a complaint for infringement of trademark and unfair competition against private respondent, alleging that:
a. The latter’s trademark is confusingly similar to the former’s, both trademarks being used in women’s panties and other textile products.
b. That the hang tags used by private respondent is a colorable imitation of those of the petitioner.
5. Private respondent alleged that there was no confusing similarity between the trademarks.
6. At the pre-trial, the following admissions were made:
a. That the registered trademark Fruit for Eve bears the notice “Reg. Phil. Pat. Off.” while that of Fruit of the Loom does not.
b. That at the time of its registration, the plaintiff filed no opposition thereto.
7. The lower court rendered a decision in favor of the petitioner, permanently enjoining private respondent from using the trademark Fruit for Eve.
8. Both parties appealed to the former Court of Appeals:
a. Petitioner questioned the lower court’s failure to award damages in its favor.
b. Private respondent sought the reversal of the lower court’s decision.
9. The former Court of Appeals rendered a decision reversing the lower court’s decision and dismissing the petitioner’s complaint. The petitioner’s motion for reconsideration was denied.
In cases involving infringement of trademark brought before this Court, it has been consistently held that there is infringement of trademark when the use of the mark involved would be likely to cause confusion or mistake in the mind of the public or to deceive purchasers as to the origin or source of the commodity. The discerning eye of the observer must focus not only on the predominant words but also on the other features appearing in both labels in order that he may draw his conclusion where one is confusingly similar to the other. The similarities of the competing trademarks in this case are completely lost in the substantial differences in the design and general appearance of their respective hang tags. We have examined the two trademarks as they appear in the hang tags submitted by the parties and We are impressed more by the dissimilarities than by the similarities appearing therein. We hold that the trademarks Fruit of the Loom and Fruit for Eve do not resemble each other as to confuse or deceive an ordinary purchaser. The ordinary purchaser must be thought of as having, and credited with, at least a modicum of intelligence to be able to see the obvious differences between the two trademarks in question.