Judge Joselito Villarosa of Branch 66 of the Makati RTC, decided to push through with ABS-CBN’s presentation of evidence for a possible TRO amid motions raised by the defendants, including a motion to dismiss the case, a motion for Villarosa’s inhibition as presiding judge, a motion to defer the TRO hearings, and another motion requesting to drop TV5 President Ray Espinosa as one of the defendants.
Villarosa told both parties that he will decide on the various motions filed by the defense before he rules on the TRO application.
Atty. Bienvenido Somera, who is representing ABS-CBN, argued that there should be no delay in the TRO application proceedings since the Supreme Court has ruled that the filing of a motion to dismiss is not a ground for a court to stop hearing a TRO application.
Somera also argued against the motion to dismiss filed by the defendants by refuting their claim that this case is the same as that Revillame filed against ABS-CBN in the Quezon City Trial Court.
Somera reiterated that ABS-CBN’s claims against Revillame in the QC case were for breach of contract by the latter, as a talent. The new case, on the other hand, focuses on the infringement of ABS-CBN’s intellectual property by Revillame et al, as producers of “Willing-Willie.”
The 33-page complaint alleges that the “look and feel” of “Wowowee” were copied by “Willing Willie” through the imitation of the expression and execution of several elements of the program. These include the opening song and/or dance number led by its host, the singing and/or trivia game wherein contestants share their personal stories and then showcase their talents before playing the game, and the set design, stage, studio viewers’ seats lay-out, lighting, music, and camera angles of “Willing Willie,” which are strikingly similar to “Wowowee.”
In an earlier statement, ABS-CBN claimed that Revillame and company “deliberately and intentionally imitated Wowowee to steal the goodwill that Wowowee has built over the past 5 years of airing in ABS-CBN.”
ABS-CBN further said, “it filed case in good faith and simply to protect its rights under the law. It’s not motivated by ‘vengeance’ to get back at anyone. Infringement of Intellectual Property rights is a very serious matter akin to stealing another’s property. It’s also like plagiarism which the public has condemned in recent events. ABS-CBN has a valid case and we will pursue it in court.”
Revillame, meanwhile, was a no-show in the court hearing yesterday, where ABS-CBN executive Marilou Almaden, the Business Unit Head for the program “Wowowee,” took the witness stand for ABS-CBN.
The legal team of ABS-CBN is set to present more evidence as the hearing on the TRO continues tomorrow morning (Dec 3).