Sunday, March 7, 2010

Party-list group warned vs using telco’s trademark


Original Story:

Telecommunications giant Smart Communications Inc. has threatened to sue a party-list group using the “SMART’ name and logo for the May 10 elections.

In a letter sent to the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Smart claimed that the party-list group “SMART,” or the Social Movement for Active Reform and Transparency, has no right to use its name and logo since the telecommunications group is duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and has the exclusive right to use this name.

The “exclusive right to usage thereof and any unauthorized use by any other person or organization would be an encroachment of that right,” Smart, through its lawyers, stressed. The telco also stated that the use “of a colorable imitation of said name and trademark deceptively creates an association between our client to yours which in reality does not exist.”

Smart Communications, a subsidiary of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), is the leading wireless mobile providers in the country with over 41 million subscribers.

The company demanded that the party-list SMART “immediately cease and desist from using an identical or a confusingly or deceptively similar name and logo from that of our client.”

SMART party-list president and chairman Carlito Cubelo, for his part, said they are ready to answer and face the charges that will be filed against their group.

“I am sad to hear that SMART does not acknowledge any association with our group whose members are mostly patronizing the telecom company’s communications services,” he noted.

“But we are ready to prove their allegations wrong,” Cubelo stressed.

SMART was among the first batch of party-list groups that the Comelec granted accreditation to run for the May 10 political exercise.

Meanwhile, Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento said all party-list groups accredited are mandated to submit the list of the names of their nominees not later than March 26.

Sarmiento said that while the admission of the list will be “ministerial” he, however, stressed that a petition can cause the disqualification of the nominees.

He added a nominee can be rejected if someone files an opposition to his or her nomination.

At least 144 party-list groups were accredited by the Comelec out of the more than 200 parrty-list organizations that applied last July 2009. Marie A. Surbano

Original Story:

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