BIZ BUZZ: Condiment war heats up

BIZ BUZZ: Condiment war heats up

/ 02:08 AM July 10, 2024

Nutri-Asia Inc., maker of popular household brands UFC ketchup and Dati Puti soy sauce and vinegar, is not about to let other companies rip off its products.

The Cruz Marcelo and Tenefrancia law office said in a recent statement they were representing Nutri-Asia in a case of trademark infringement, unfair competition and copyright infringement against Hard Discount Philippines, the operator of Dali Everyday Grocer.

READ: Dali grocery chain ordered to stop sale of suspected rip off products

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The case stemmed from Dali’s sale of Kulina catsup and chili sauce, and Rajah Puro vinegar and soy sauce in packaging that was said to be “confusingly similar” to Nutri-Asia’s popular UFC and Datu Puti products.

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The government has apparently found merit in Nutri-Asia’s claims as the Yao-led company had secured an injunction from the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines, compelling Dali to pull out from its store shelves three products that have an uncanny resemblance to Nutri-Asia’s own popular brands.

The injunction was issued last Feb. 4 and trial is ongoing.

Dali has recently found itself in increasing trouble with the law, and it is also being investigated by the Department of Trade and Industry due to allegations concerning consumer rights.

Last month, Trade Assistant Secretary Amanda Nograles said a show cause order was sent to Dali on May 29, compelling them to explain 13 instances of complaints filed by the consumer rights group Malayang Konsymer.

Nograles said the company could face an administrative fine of up to P300,000 and possible revocation of the business permit for noncompliance with sanitary regulations in their area of operations.

As to when Dali’s woes will end, one can only speculate. — ALDEN M. MONZON

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SM’s plus one

The SM Group board will have a plus one from here on out.

What was once an eight-seat board will now be increased to nine seats, after the Securities and Exchange Commission granted the change in SM Investments Corp.’s articles of incorporation.

Now, seasoned lawyer and former Finance Undersecretary Lily Gruba will have room on the board of the country’s largest conglomerate as an independent director.

Gruba is also currently a senior partner of the Gruba Caganda Advincula Melo & Dela Fuente law firm specializing in taxation law.

If being recognized as one of the 100 top Lawyers in the Philippines by Asia Business Law Review is not enough to prove that she’s knowledgeable in her field, Gruba also wrote two books on taxation and tax remedies that were published three years apart.

Interestingly, she was also the ex-team manager of the Creamline Cool Smashers, one of the top women’s teams in the Premier Volleyball League, as part of her advocacy.

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Indeed, Gruba seems a good fit into the “mix of competence, expertise and experience” within the SM Investments board. Cheers! —MEG J. ADONIS

TAGS: Business, Dali Everyday Grocery, NutriAsia Inc.

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