In Starbucks (HK) Limited v. Information Capital Technology Ventures, Inc., January 12, 2017 (IPC No. 14-2013-00264), Starbucks (HK) Limited (“Opposer”), the owner of the NOW TV & DEVICE trademark that is registered in various countries, filed an opposition to the registration of the NOWPLANET.TV mark of Information Capital Technology Ventures, Inc. (“Respondent-Applicant”).
Opposer filed its NOW TV & DEVICE trademark application in the Philippines on 06 September 2012, with a priority claim based on its earlier filing with the European Union on 23 March 2012. On the other hand, Respondent-Application filed its NOWPLANET.TV trademark application on 20 February 2013.
The Opposition was dismissed because Respondent-Applicant was able to show that it has an existing NOWPLANET.TV trademark that was registered on 20 January 2012. Therefore, the Opposer’s trademark application cannot be used as a basis to prevent Respondent-Applicant from registering a mark that appropriates the term NOWPLANET.TV using a different design.
Opposer argues that Respondent-Applicant’s NOWPLANET.TV mark is visually, phonetically and connotatively similar to its NOW TV & DEVICE mark. Does that mean that Respondent-Applicant can have Opposer’s trademark canceled (Opposer’s trademark was registered on 21 July 2016) since it is the prior registrant in the Philippines?