SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT, INC.,
G.R. No. 161823
- versus -
QUISUMBING, J., Chairperson,
VELASCO, JR., JJ.
March 22, 2007
x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x
This petition for review seeks to reverse the Decision dated
The case stemmed from the complaint
filed with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) by petitioner Sony
Computer Entertainment, Inc., against respondent Supergreen,
Incorporated. The NBI found that respondent
engaged in the reproduction and distribution of counterfeit PlayStation game
software, consoles and accessories in violation of Sony Computers intellectual
property rights. Thus, NBI applied with
the Regional Trial Court
Accordingly, Search Warrants Nos. 01-1986, 01-1987 and 01-1988 are hereby ordered quashed and set aside.
The National Bureau of Investigation and/or any other person in actual custody of the goods seized pursuant thereto are hereby directed to return the same to the respondents.
Petitioner elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals, which
dismissed the petition for certiorari.
The appellate court ruled that under Section 2, Rule 126 of the
Rules of Court, the RTC of Manila had no jurisdiction to issue a search warrant
WHEREFORE, the instant Petition is hereby denied and accordingly DISMISSED.
Petitioner now comes before us raising the following issues:
WHETHER OR NOT VENUE IN SEARCH WARRANT APPLICATIONS INVOLVES TERRITORIAL JURISDICTION.
WHETHER OR NOT THE CORRECTNESS OF VENUE IN AN APPLICATION FOR SEARCH WARRANT IS DEEMED WAIVED IF NOT RAISED BY THE RESPONDENT IN ITS MOTION TO QUASH.
WHETHER OR NOT THE OFFENSES INVOLVED IN THE SUBJECT SEARCH WARRANTS ARE CONTINUING CRIMES WHICH MAY BE VALIDLY TRIED IN ANOTHER JURISDICTION WHERE THE OFFENSE WAS PARTLY COMMITTED.
In sum, we are asked to resolve whether the quashal of Search Warrants Nos. 01-1986 to 01-1988 was valid.
Citing Malaloan v. Court of Appeals, where this Court clarified that a search warrant application is only a special criminal process and not a criminal action, petitioner contends that the rule on venue for search warrant application is not jurisdictional. Hence, failure to raise the objection waived it. Moreover, petitioner maintains that applying for search warrants in different courts increases the possibility of leakage and contradictory outcomes that could defeat the purpose for which the warrants were issued.
Petitioner further asserts that even granting that the rules
on search warrant applications are jurisdictional, the application filed either
in the courts of the National Capital Region or Fourth Judicial Region is still
proper because the crime was continuing and committed in both
Respondent counters that Section 2 is explicit on where
applications should be filed and provided the territorial limitations on search
warrants. Respondent claims that Malaloan is no longer applicable jurisprudence
with the promulgation of the 2000 Rules of Criminal Procedure. Even granting that petitioner has compelling
reasons, respondent maintains that petitioner cannot file the application with
the RTC of Manila because
To start, we cautioned that our pronouncement in Malaloan should be read into the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980 conferring on the regional trial courts and their judges a territorial jurisdiction, regional in scope. Both the main decision and the dissent in Malaloan recognized this.
Now, in the present case, respondents premises in
Nonetheless, we agree with petitioner that this case involves a transitory or continuing offense of unfair competition under Section 168 of Republic Act No. 8293, which provides,
168.2. Any person who shall employ deception or any other means contrary to good faith by which he shall pass off the goods manufactured by him or in which he deals, or his business, or services for those of the one having established such goodwill, or who shall commit any acts calculated to produce said result, shall be guilty of unfair competition, and shall be subject to an action therefor.
(a) Any person, who is selling his goods and gives them the general appearance of goods of another manufacturer or dealer, either as to the goods themselves or in the wrapping of the packages in which they are contained, or the devices or words thereon, or in any other feature of their appearance, which would be likely to influence purchasers to believe that the goods offered are those of a manufacturer or dealer, other than the actual manufacturer or dealer, or who otherwise clothes the goods with such appearance as shall deceive the public and defraud another of his legitimate trade, or any subsequent vendor of such goods or any agent of any vendor engaged in selling such goods with a like purpose;
(b) Any person who by any artifice, or device, or who employs any other means calculated to induce the false belief that such person is offering the services of another who has identified such services in the mind of the public; or
(c) Any person who shall make any false statement in the course of trade or who shall commit any other act contrary to good faith of a nature calculated to discredit the goods, business or services of another.
Pertinent too is Article 189 (1) of the Revised Penal Code that enumerates the elements of unfair competition, to wit:
(a) That the offender gives his goods the general appearance of the goods of another manufacturer or dealer;
(b) That the general appearance is shown in the (1) goods themselves, or in the (2) wrapping of their packages, or in the (3) device or words therein, or in (4) any other feature of their appearance;
(c) That the offender offers to sell or sells those goods or gives other persons a chance or opportunity to do the same with a like purpose; and
(d) That there is actual intent to deceive the public or defraud a competitor.
Respondents imitation of the general appearance of
petitioners goods was done allegedly in
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Decision dated
LEONARDO A. QUISUMBING
ANTONIO T. CARPIO
CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES
DANTE O. TINGA
PRESBITERO J. VELASCO, JR.
A T T E S T A T I O N
I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Courts Division.
LEONARDO A. QUISUMBING
C E R T I F I C A T I O N
Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution, and the Division Chairpersons Attestation, I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Courts Division.
REYNATO S. PUNO
 Rollo, pp. 34-41. Penned by Associate Justice Delilah Vidallon-Magtolis, with Associate Justices Remedios A. Salazar-Fernando and Edgardo F. Sundiam concurring.
 SEC. 2. Court where application for search warrant shall be filed. An application for search warrant shall be filed with the following:
(a) Any court within whose territorial jurisdiction a crime was committed.
(b) For compelling reasons stated in the application, any court within the judicial region where the crime was committed if the place of commission of the crime is known, or any court within the judicial region where the warrant shall be enforced.
However, if the criminal action has already been filed, the application shall only be made in the court where the criminal action is pending.
 Rollo, p. 40.
 G.R. No. 104879,
 Batas Pambansa Blg. 129.
 Enunciated in the dissent of Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. in the case of Malaloan v. Court of Appeals, supra note 8, at 272.
 Known as the Intellectual
Property Code of the
 NBI-Microsoft Corporation v. Hwang, G.R. No. 147043, June 21, 2005, 460 SCRA 428, 444-445.
 See also A.M. No. 03-8-02-SC, which provides as follows:
Sec. 12. Issuance of search warrants in special criminal cases by the Regional Trial Courts of Manila and Quezon City. The Executive Judges and, whenever they are on official leave of absence or are not physically present in the station, the Vice-Executive Judges of the RTCs of Manila and Quezon City shall have authority to act on applications filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Anti-Crime Task Force (ACTAF), for search warrants involving heinous crimes, illegal gambling, illegal possession of firearms and ammunitions as well as violations of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, the Intellectual Property Code, the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001, the Tariff and Customs Code, as amended, and other relevant laws that may hereafter be enacted by Congress, and included herein by the Supreme Court.
x x x x