MANILA – The Court of Appeals (CA) upheld the ruling of the Mandaluyong Regional Trial Court (RTC) that sentenced the seller of counterfeit shoes and other items to up to five years in prison.
The CA affirmed the Nov. 14, 2018 decision of Mandaluyong RTC Branch 211 that found Manolo Samson guilty of violating the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines’ provisions against unfair competition.
“The trial court correctly imposed the indeterminable penalty of two years as minimum to five years as maximum and a fine of PHP100,000,” read the decision dated May 11 and made public on Monday.
Samson, proprietor of Itti Shoes Corp., Kolm’s Manufacturing Corporation, and Caterpillar Boutique and General Merchandise, distributed and sold counterfeit Caterpillar brand products such as footwear, garments, clothing, bags, and accessories.
On Dec. 5, 2000, lawyers for Caterpillar Inc. sought help from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), which raided Samson’s outlets that sold Caterpillar products.
Two years later, more raids were conducted in various outlets owned or operated by Samson in Mandaluyong, Quezon City, Manila, Caloocan, Makati, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Pampanga, and Cavite after reports that he continued to sell imitation products.
The court said the “accused intended to deceive the public as to the identity of the goods sold or of the manufacturer thereof,” and that “the trial court therefore did not err in finding the accused guilty of unfair competition”.
The Caterpillar trademark was first used in 1904 on track type tractors.
In the Philippines, the Caterpillar trademark was registered in 1968, initially for tractors, tractor parts, and equipment. (PNA)