The Bureau of Legal Affairs of the Intellectual Property Office, in its Decision No. 2016-109
, explained that although the word “CHOW” was originally considered as descriptive, the doctrine of secondary meaning applies as evidence shows that the CHOW mark has been used by and closely associated with Nestle for animal food in the Philippines. Hence, if some other party will appropriate the word “CHOW” for its marks covering animal food products, it is highly likely that consumers will be misled to believe that the goods came from the same source.
As explained by The Supreme Court in the earlier case of Philippine Nut Industry, Inc. vs. Standard Brands Incorporated (G.R. No. L-23035), this doctrine is to the effect that a word or phrase originally incapable of exclusive appropriation with reference to an article on the market; might nevertheless have been used so long and so exclusively by one producer with reference to his article that in that trade and to that branch of the purchasing public, the word or phrase has come to mean that the article was his product. This doctrine is found in Sec. 4 (f), Chapter II-A of the Trade-Mark Law and subsequently adopted in Section 123.2 of the IP Code of the Philippines.