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Skechers, U.S.A. vs. Inter Pacific Industrial Trading Corporation, et.al.

[GR No. 164321, March 23, 2011]

FACTS: Petitioner Skechers USA has registered the trademark "Skechers" and the trademark "S"
(with an oval design) with the IPO. Petitioner filed an application for the issuance of search
warrants against an outlet and warehouse operated by respondents for infringement of trademark
under Section 155, in relation to Section 170 of Republic Act No. 8293, IP Code of the Philippines.
Pursuant to a search warrant, more than 6,000 pairs of shoes bearing the "S" logo were seized.
Respondents moved to quash the search warrant arguing that there was no confusing similarity
between petitioner's "Skechers" rubber shoes and its "Strong" rubber shoes. RTC applying the
Holistic Test ordered the quashing of the warrant which was affirmed by the CA. RTC noted the
following differences: 1) the mark "S" is not enclosed in an oval design; 2) the hang tags and labels
bear the word "Strong" for respondent and "Skechers USA" for petitioner; 3) Strong shoes are
modestly priced compared to Skechers shoes.

ISSUE: Whether or not respondents are guilty of Infringement

RULING: Yes. Applying the Dominancy Test, even if respondents did not use the oval design, the
mere fact that it used the same stylized "S" (same font and size of the lettering) the same being
the dominant feature of petitioner's trademark constitutes infringement. Applying the Holistic
Test, the dissimilarities between the shoes are too trifling and frivolous that it is indubitable that
respondent's products will cause confusion and mistakes in the eyes of the public. Respondent's
shoes may not be an exact replica of the petitioner's shoes, but the features and overall design are
so similar and alike that confusion is highly likely to happen. Registered trademark owner may
use its mark on the same or similar products, in different segments of the market, and at different
price levels depending on variations of the products for specific segments of the market. The
purchasing public might be mistaken in thinking that petitioner had ventured into a lower
market segment which scenario is plausible especially since both petitioner and respondent
manufacture rubber shoes.