Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Red Bull-fight in the Philippines (continued)

As suspected the Red Bull case, detailed here, is a classic case of poor, or worse suspicious, prosecutorial behaviour.  Energy Food and Drinks Inc., owned by the 3 Chua brothers George, Renato and Jaime, went bust and TC Pharmaceutical terminated them as its Red Bull distributor in 2008. That led to court battles but the Court of Appeals in July confirmed the termination.

Energy Food and Drinks filed a criminal case for breach of their exclusive distribution rights but it was rejected once and so they went to a higher level and persuaded Undersecretary of Justice Salazar to order the Legazpi City prosecutor to file criminal charges against the Thai company. TC is one of the largest companies and most successful brands in Southeast Asia.

TC now asks “How can we be remotely said to be in violation of the law, when we are in truth and in fact, the owners of the intellectual property right, which in this case is the Red Bull brand." TC asserts that its name and reputation was being threatened “by a groundless criminal allegation that a former distributor has lodged against us, along with our current importer and local distributor, Maryland Distributors Inc.”

“Indeed, with the said resolution of Undersecretary Salazar, our disgruntled former business partner [despite having no authority or claim over the said intellectual property right] has managed to achieve its malicious objective to harass us once more with yet another case for violation of intellectual property right,” the Thai company said.

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