Taiwan Kolin Corporation, Ltd., Petitioner v. Kolin Electronics Co. Inc.,

Facts: On February 29, 1996, Taiwan Kolin filed with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), docketed as Application No. 4-1996-106310, for the use of  “KOLIN” on a combination of goods, including colored televisions, refrigerators, window-type and split-type air conditioners, electric fans and water dispensers. Application No. 4-1996-106310 would eventually be considered abandoned for Taiwan Kolin’s failure to respond to IPO’s Paper No. 5 requiring it to elect one class of good for its coverage. However, the same application was subsequently revived through Application Serial No. 4-2002-011002, with petitioner electing Class 9 as the subject of its application, particularly: television sets, cassette recorder, VCD Amplifiers, camcorders and other audio/video electronic equipment, flat iron, vacuum cleaners, cordless handsets, videophones, facsimile machines, teleprinters, cellular phones and automatic goods vending machine.
On July 13, 2006, respondent Kolin Electronics Co., Inc. (Kolin Electronics) opposed petitioner’s revived application arguing that the mark Taiwan Kolin seeks to register is identical, if not confusingly similar, with its “KOLIN” mark registered on November 23, 2003, covering the following products under Class 9 of the NCL: automatic voltage regulator, converter, recharger, stereo booster, AC-DC regulated power supply, step-down transformer, and PA amplified AC-DC.5cralawred


Whether or not petitioner is entitled to its trademark registration of “KOLIN” over its specific goods of television sets and DVD players.

Ruling: The Supreme Court held that he petitioner’s trademark registration not only covers unrelated good, but is also incapable of deceiving the ordinary intelligent buyer. The ordinary purchaser must be thought of as having, and credited with, at least a modicum of intelligence to be able to see the differences between the two trademarks in question.

On the arguments that both their goods belong to Class 9 of the NCL, the Supreme Court ruled that identical marks may be registered for products from the same classification.  The mere uniformity in categorization, by itself, does not automatically preclude the registration of what appears to be an identical mark, if that be the case.

Moreover, the Supreme Court stated that the products covered by petitioner’s application and respondent’s registration are unrelated.  It agreed with the petitioner on the following:


  • Taiwan Kolin’s goods are classified as home appliances as opposed to Kolin Electronics’ goods which are power supply and audio equipment accessories;ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
  • Taiwan Kolin’s television sets and DVD players perform distinct function and purpose from Kolin Electronics’ power supply and audio equipment; and
  • Taiwan Kolin sells and distributes its various home appliance products on wholesale and to accredited dealers, whereas Kolin Electronics’ goods are sold and flow through electrical and hardware stores.


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