What’s in a name? SC sides with Elar’s in lechon fight vs ElarZ
Food

What’s in a name? SC sides with Elar’s in lechon fight vs ElarZ

Elar’s Lechon has won the legal battle against a competitor with a name similar to its own— except for the letter Z.

Elar’s Lechon has won the legal battle against a competitor with a name similar to its own— except for the letter Z.

The Supreme Court announced Monday (June 28) that Elarfoods Inc. owns the trademarks, “Elar’s Lechon,” On a Bamboo Tray,” and “Roasted Pig Device.”

“The spouses Lontoc actively managed and used Elarfoods as its business name and marketed its roasted pig products as ‘ELARS LECHON ON A BAMBOO TRAY.’ However, without Elarfoods‟ knowledge and permission, Emzee sold and distributed roasted pigs using the marks ‘ELARZ LECHON’, ‘ELAR LECHON’, ‘PIG DEVICE’ and ‘ON A BAMBOO TRAY’ making it appear that petitioner Emzee was a branch or franchisee of the respondent Elarfoods,” the court said.

Elarfoods was established by the couple Jose and Leonor Lontoc in the 1970s. ElarZ, meanwhile, is run by former Elar’s Lechon employees.

Using “substantially identical” terms and brand labels “constituted unfair competition,” the SC added.

“It was very obvious that the [Emzee’s] marks “ELARZ LECHON‟ and “ELAR LECHON‟ bear an indubitable likeness with [Elarfoods’] “ELARS LECHON,” read the decision from Justice Samuel Gaerlan.

The owners of ElarZ was instructed to pay damages and attorney’s fees to Elars and must also “cease and desist from using “ELARZ LECHON,” “ELAR LECHON,” “PIG DEVICE,” and “ON A BAMBOO TRAY” on its products.

In an Instagram post, Elar’s Lechon took a swipe at its competitor with the caption: “There is only one Elar’s Lechon and it is owned by Elarfoods, Inc.,” adding the hashtags #theONLYelarslechon and #notofakeZ.

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