TAPE and GMA-7 currently face subpoena from TVJ’s complaint
Comedy trio TVJ—composed of Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, and Joey De Leon—has filed a complaint against its former producer TAPE Inc. and former network GMA-7 over allegations of copyright infringement and unfair competition.
TVJ, together with TAPE’s former executive Jeny Ferre, was reported to have appealed to the Marikina regional trial court to axe TAPE Inc. and GMA-7 from using the original “Eat Bulaga!” name, logo, creative elements, and previous segments for the revamped noontime program.
The complaint was filed under Intellectual Property Code on June 30 and was received by the defendants on Wednesday, July 12. Following this, the defendants are given a total of 30 days to file a response to the court.
In line with TVJ’s plea to halt the use of “Eat Bulaga!” materials, it also asks TAPE for Php 20.98 million—which accounts for a breakdown of Php 17, 482,428.12 for copyright infringement, Php 2 million for unfair competition, and Php 500, 000 each for lawyers’ honoraria, moral casualties, and exemplary damages.
TAPE Inc. has already released a statement through its legal counsel Atty. Maggi Garduque.
“It is not a copyright infringement. Eat Bulaga name, the design of the name, and the logo is a trademark and not subject of copyright,” she says.
“TAPE Inc. has the registration of the tradename Eat Bulaga so they cannot file infringement against the registered owner of the trademark. Their petition for cancellation trademark of Eat Bulaga is still pending before the OP and until such time that said petition is granted, the trademark Eat Bulaga and EB will be owned by TAPE Inc.,” she adds.
GMA-7 has also issued a separate statement, which reads: “We will refer the complaint to our legal counsel, Belo Gozon, Elma Parel Asuncion, and Lucila Law Offices.”
TVJ vs. TAPE Inc. and GMA-7
In the 44 years that the trio had hosted the program, they finally bid their official goodbye on May 31, as other “Eat Bulaga!” hosts also tendered their respective resignation. Such a decision rooted out of an internal conflict that heavily severed their ties with the producer.
TVJ and the rest of the “legit” Dabarkads then transferred to the Manny Pangilinan-owned network TV5, wherein they currently banner a noontime program titled “E.A.T.”
Only days after, on June 5, “Eat Bulaga!” then aired once more—-now with a new set of hosts composed of Paolo Contis, Buboy Billar, Mavy Legaspi, Cassy Legaspi, and Alexa Miro.