Efforts to regain ‘Eat Bulaga’ name is ‘not about the money,’ TVJ camp says
Even though Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, and Joey de Leon — collectively known as TVJ — remain firm in their “right” to the “Eat Bulaga” brandname, their camp noted that their legal battle against Television and Production Exponents (TAPE) is “not about the money,” but rather the efforts they built for the past four decades.
In a press conference on the set of their “EAT” noontime program on Dec. 5, TVJ’s lead counsel Enrique dela Cruz clarified that TVJ’s goal of reinforcing the ownership of the “Eat Bulaga” and “EB” trademark is about the comedy trio’s rights as creators and originators of the trademark.
“Pinapili namin ang TVJ, anong gusto niyong goal or objective. Pagbayarin natin sila sa [royalties at paggamit] ng inyong mga nilikha or ipahinto natin sila? Sabi nina Tito Sen, it’s not about the money. Hindi pera ang habol,” dela Cruz said, recalling how they decided on the objective of their legal battle against TAPE.
“Walang claim on the royalties or paggamit ng [pangalan]. Wag na lang gamitin. ‘Yan ang objective ng kaso. Injunction. Ipahinto ang hindi awtorisadong paggamit,” he continued.
(We asked TVJ to choose their goal or objective. Ask them to settle the fees of the royalties and the use of their creations without their consent, or stop them for good. Tito said, it’s not about the money. They’re not after the money. We don’t have any claim or use of the ‘Eat Bulaga’ name against them. Just don’t use it. That’s the objective of our case. Stop the unauthorized use of it.)
With this in mind, Dela Cruz said the faces of Tito, Vic, and Joey are apparently seen on the erstwhile platforms, as he asserted that they’re not connected with the production company anymore.
“Until recently, ‘yung mga mukha nilang tatlo, nasa website pa ng kabilang network. Mukha nila, tapos thumbnail, gamit sila. Ang pakiusap, wag gamitin kasi hindi sila connected. Ang hinihingi naming danyos is ‘yung paggamit at pag-reclaim ng mga shows na sila pa ‘yung hosts,” he said.
(Until recently, the faces of the three of them can be seen on the website of the rival network. Even the thumbnails, they’re being used. Our plea is to not use it because they’re not connected. What we’re asking for is the use and reclaiming of the shows wherein they’re still the hosts.)
Officially recognized by law
As the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPhl) declared that TVJ are the rightful owners of the brandname, Tito said he feels “vindicated” with the ruling while Joey and Vic are happy the decision was made in their favor.
“We knew that we had the right to it. We knew that Joey created it. We nurtured it. We fostered it all throughout these years,” the elder Sotto said, saying de Leon created the name in his White Plains kitchen in 1979.
Despite being “officially recognized by law,” dela Cruz said the use of the “Eat Bulaga” name on its online platforms are yet to be determined as it has its own set of rules. He added that a staff of TVJ was the one who registered the brandname online, claiming that TAPE was able to have access to them.
Since their transfer to TV5, TVJ has been using “EAT” on its noontime program. The decision to now use “Eat Bulaga” now needs to be sorted out with their legal counsel.