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Joey de Leon looks back on conceptualizing 'Eat Bulaga!' title amid trademark issue

By JUSTINE PUNZALAN Published Jun 12, 2023 4:33 pm Updated Jun 12, 2023 7:30 pm

As the battle for the Eat Bulaga trademark persists, Joey de Leon wants the public to be reminded of one thing—that he is the creative genius behind the iconic, not to mention controversial, brand name.

On Saturday, June 10, the veteran TV host took to Instagram to recall how he conceptualized the title of the local noontime show Eat Bulaga! and how he perceived the public would respond to it after the show's producers approved it before they went on air. 

"Noong maisip, binuo at imungkahi ko ang pangalang “EAT BULAGA!” para sa aming palabas nung 1979, naramdaman kong kahit ito ang napili at tinanggap ng marami sa namumuno, matagal-tagal ding ninamnam ito hanggang sa tumining; wari bang isang aampunin na may kaibang tunog at kaiba sa paningin. Tila ba kailangan mong masanay lunukin," Joey wrote on his post.

Because the comedian-songwriter thought that the name "Eat Bulaga!" wouldn't have an easy and strong brand recall among TV viewers, he said he is surprised that it is now caught in a tug-of-war involving people who do not have rights to it.

"Aakalain ba nyong makalipas ang 44 na taon o halos LIMANG DEKADA, ang pangalang ito ay pag-aawayan, pag-aagawan at marami ang nais na umangkin?!" Joey continued.

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A post shared by Joey de Leon (@angpoetnyo)

Joey and his fellow seasoned Eat Bulaga! hosts Tito and Vic Sotto announced their departure from the show on May 31 due to a dispute with its producers, Television and Production Exponents Inc. (TAPE).

Eat Bulaga! continues to air on GMA 7 with a new set of hosts after the trio, collectively known as TVJ, and the rest of the show's former hosts have already exited the show.

Since their exit, TVJ has been adamant that they are the rightful owner of the show's title. One of the reasons, Tito said, is that the show premiered on Radio Philippines Network (RPN) in 1979, while TAPE was only established by its CEO Tony Tuviera and businessman Romeo Jalosjos Sr. in 1981.

TAPE, on the other hand, claims that it owns the brand as it was the one that registered the trademark for it before the production house itself was established.

On June 2, three days after their departure from the show, TVJ filed a petition to cancel TAPE's trademark at the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL).

In an interview with ABS-CBN News, IPOPHL said that one of the grounds for the cancellation is that TAPE's registration "was obtained fraudulently."

The agency then issued a Notice to Answer to TAPE on June 6, giving the company 30 days to answer TVJ's petition.

Should TAPE fail to provide an answer, it will be declared in default and the case will be reviewed and decided based "on the available merits and facts such as petitions, evidence submitted, records and applicable provisions of the law."

The company's Eat Bulaga! trademark, however, is set to expire on June 14, 2023.