Making Sense of Ginebra San Miguel vs Ginebra Kapitan

In an article in found here, Court of Appeals has ordered Tanduay Distillers (TDY) to stop production and remove from the market gin products bearing the name “Ginebra” and pay San Miguel Corporation (SMC) 50% of total gross sales and other charges. This is in reference to TDY’s product named Ginebra Kapitan that is closely named to SMC’s Ginebra San Miguel. Ginebra San Miguel has been in the market since 1945 while Ginebra Kapitan has only been around mid-2003. TDY’s argument is that the word “Ginebra” (which means gin in Spanish) is a generic name and should not be of exclusive use by SMC.

The legal battle between SMC and TDY regarding Ginebra Kapitan and Ginebra San Miguel dates way back August 2003. On September 2003, Mandaluyong Regional Trial Court issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) preventing TDY from manufacturing Ginebra Kapitan. On January 9, 2004, Court of Appeals decided on a preliminary injunction against TDY finally preventing them from producing Ginebra Kaptan. On August 2009, the Supreme Court (SC) reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals and lifted the preliminary injunction effectively allowing TDY to produce Ginebra Kapitan.

Scrutinizing the legal battle above, TDY appears to generate revenues in the Ginebra Kapitan only from 2009 to 2013. There was no public information available for the revenues generated by TDY on their Ginebra Kapitan making it impossible to determine the exact amount of the penalty which is stated as 50% of gross revenue generated by the sale of Ginebra Kapitan products. In the SEC filings of TDY in 2011, TDY disclosed that the litigation is a 100 million civil case. [1] In the SEC filings of Ginebra San Miguel, Inc. (GSMI), we can estimate the revenue of Ginebra Kapitan using the following calculations: [2]

GSMI1

At 5% market share, TDY may have generated 599 million annually in the sale of Ginebra Kapitan. Assuming that TDY generated 500 million of gross revenues from 2009-2012, TDY has a total financial liability of 750 million (500 million x 3 years x 50% of gross revenue).

However, read the article again and you will notice that the CEO of TDY, Michael Tan, will appeal the decision and knowing the Philippine justice system, this may take a long-long-long time.

Source:

  1. TDY SEC 17-A 2011, Legal Proceedings, p. 17, http://www.pse.com.ph/resource/corpt/2012/TDY_17A_Mar2012.pdf
  2. GSMI SEC 17-A 2012, Products, p. 6, http://www.pse.com.ph/resource/corpt/2013/GSMI_17A_Dec2012.pdf

Disclaimer: I do not claim to be an expert and nothing I say should be taken as a recommendation to buy or sell. Read more in the ABOUT page.

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