Manila – The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines has acted on a protest of Viceroy Hotel Group, owner of world reknowned Miami South Beach Hotel, The Tides against a luxury hotel in Boracay with the same name that opened in 2007.
The IPO ordered the cancellation of the Boracay Hotels trademark application for its name and logo which Viceroy Hotel Group found to be similar to its own patented business trademark.
Viceroy Hotel Group successfully showed that the local hotel infringed on its trademark and could not have invented by coincidence the exact trademark name and design being used by their brand for over 80 years. VHG additionally implied that the local hotel has been using the name and logo sowing confusion as to its relation with their hotel in Miami.
An IPO official who refused to be identified stated that there was a clear infringement when their attention was called to the matter. The operators of The Tides Boracay wanted to register the name as a trademark and when we did our reviews found the VHG opposition.
The same official noted that it is up to VHG to file the charges in court, as for the IPO, it has cancelled the application.
The Tides Boracay may have to rebrand and change its name according to an Advertising Executive as it clearly bore the same similarities to the VHG Brand. “The Tides Boracay and its Ad Agency or Design Group could be held accountable for the Brand infringement as the hotel would then suffer from business losses in a costly rebranding process. If there was no Advertising Agency involved, the owner could be held liable for trademark infringement and be taken to court.”- he added.
He added that as an immediate effect, the hotel would have to change it’s name which in turn affects its website, its marketing & booking activities online and offline, its overall reputation among the customers and the community and its bottom line. Overall, it is a losing proposition and it is like opening a new hotel and starting from scratch.
Boracay being an international destination has been the constant focus of international hotel operators as a destination for setting up shop. The case may have been a result of VHG taking the initial steps of securing their Brands and Trademarks in the Philippines before actually building.
The Tides Boracay may appeal the findings, but according to the IPO official, VHG has shown its merit through its arguments and any appeal would be an uphill climb.
Viceroy Hotel Group is half owned by the Abu Dhabi Government and owns and operate The Tides hotel in South Beach Miami, Cassa NY Hotel in New York City, Hotel Zeppelin in San Francisco, Viceroy Central Park among others.
As of this reporting, The Tides Boracay could not be contacted at the indicated numbers provided in their website.
This is a validated news item that never made it to the press as an official article.