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September 14, 2016

Lyceum vs. CA

Facts:
  • Lyceum of the Philippines, Inc. is an educational institution duly registered with Securities and Exchange Commission since 1950. (Sept)
  • In 1984, it instituted proceedings before SEC to compel several education institutions to delete the word “Lyceum” from their corporate names and to permanently enjoin them from using the said word.
  • Their action is based on a SEC Resolution wherein SEC ordered the Lyceum of Baguio to change its corporate name as it is identical to the Lyceum of the Philippines which was able to register first.
  • SEC En Banc ruled that the attaching of the geographical names after the word “Lyceum” sufficiently distinguishes one from the other.
  • However, the CA ruled otherwise.



Issue No.1: WON the corporate names of the parties are identical with or deceptively similar to that of the petitioner. NO

Held: The corporate names of the parties carry the word “Lyceum” but confusion and deception are precluded by the appending of geographic names. Lyceum generally refers to a school or an institution of learning and it is natural to use this word to designate an entity which is organized and operating as an educational institution.

Thus, we do not believe that the "Lyceum of Aparri" can be mistaken by the general public for the Lyceum of the Philippines, or that the "Lyceum of Camalaniugan" would be confused with the Lyceum of the Philippines.

Issue No. 2: WON the use by the Lyceum of the Philippines of the word Lyceum in its corporate name has been for such length of time and with such exclusivity as to have become associated or identified with the petitioner institution in the mind of the general public. (Doctrine of Secondary meaning). NO

Held: Doctrine of Secondary meaning is a word of phrase originally incapable of exclusive appropriation, might nevertheless have been used so long and so exclusively by one producer with reference to his article that, in trade and to that branch of the purchasing public, the word or phrase has come to mean that the article was his product.

Lyceum of the Philippines has not gained exclusive use of “Lyceum” by long passage of time. The number alone of the private respondents suggests strongly that the use of Lyceum has not been attended with the exclusivity essential for the applicability of the doctrine. It may be noted that one of the respondents – Western Pangasinan Lyceum used such term 17 years before the petitioner registered with the SEC. Moreover, there may be other schools using the name but not registered with the SEC because they have not adopted the corporate form of organization.

DOCTRINE:
Doctrine of secondary meaning can be extended to corporation name but must comply with the requirement that it has been used so long and so exclusively by one and that the said name has come to mean that it is referred to as that corporation.

Western Pangasinan Lyceum — 27 October 1950
Lyceum of Cabagan — 31 October 1962
Lyceum of Lallo, Inc. — 26 March 1972
Lyceum of Aparri — 28 March 1972
Lyceum of Tuao, Inc. — 28 March 1972
Lyceum of Camalaniugan — 28 March 1972

Etymologically, the word "Lyceum" is the Latin word for the Greek lykeion which in turn referred to a locality on the river Ilissius in ancient Athens "comprising an enclosure dedicated to Apollo and adorned with fountains and buildings erected by Pisistratus, Pericles and Lycurgus frequented by the youth for exercise and by the philosopher Aristotle and his followers for teaching."

Lyceum" is in fact as generic in character as the word "university." In the name of the petitioner, "Lyceum" appears to be a substitute for "university;" in other places, however, "Lyceum," or "Liceo" or "Lycee" frequently denotes a secondary school or a college.

Citation:
  • G.R. No. 101897
  • March 5, 1993
  • LYCEUM OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, LYCEUM OF APARRI, LYCEUM OF CABAGAN, LYCEUM OF CAMALANIUGAN, INC., LYCEUM OF LALLO, INC., LYCEUM OF TUAO, INC., BUHI LYCEUM, CENTRAL LYCEUM OF CATANDUANES, LYCEUM OF SOUTHERN PHILIPPINES, LYCEUM OF EASTERN MINDANAO, INC. and WESTERN PANGASINAN LYCEUM, INC., respondents.


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