MANILA: The Philippines’ biggest fast-food chain has lost a long trademark battle against the nation’s “King of Night Entertainment” to own the “jolli” brand, according to government documents. Famous for fried chicken, hamburgers and spaghetti, Jollibee Foods opposed in 2013 the trademark registration of real estate firm Jolliville Holdings Corporation, saying it was “confusingly similar” with its name. But the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines ruled in favor of Jolliville, which said the company’s name was a tribute to its founder Jolly Ting.

“While (Jollibee) was making it big in the food service business so was Mr. Jolly L. Ting in the night entertainment business,” the Philippines’ patent office said in the decision released this week. “As the owner of a string of night entertainment establishments such as Pegasus, Discovery, Mega Heartbeat, Lexus, he earned the moniker ‘King of Night Entertainment.’”

The government agency said there was no reason to prohibit the registration of Jolliville, which later diversified its business into property management and development. Jollibee had accused Jolliville of unfair competition but the government said there was no evidence the property firm passed off its goods and services to be part of those of the fastfood giant. “Jollibee and the ‘bee’ mascot device... is great for kids’ entertainment,” the ruling said. The market cheered the ruling on Wednesday, with Jolliville share prices surging 12.01 percent to close at 6.90 pesos (13.6 US cents). Jollibee shares ended unchanged at 208 pesos. — AFP