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Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. vs. Supergreen Inc. G.R. No.

161823, March 22, 2007 Facts: Petitioner filed a complaint with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) against respondent for engaging in the reproduction and distribution of counterfeit PlayStation game software, consoles and accessories in violation of petitioners intellectual property rights. The NBI applied and was issued by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila warrants to search respondents premises in Paranaque City and Cavite, wherein a replicating machine and several units of counterfeit PlayStation consoles, joy p ads, housing, labels and game software were seized on the subject premises. Respondent questioned the validity of the search warrants issued by the RTC of Manila, particularly the search warrant covering respondents premises in Cavite on the ground of improper venue, and filed a motion to quash and/or release of the seized properties. The trial court affirmed the validity of the search warrant covering respondents premises in Paranaque City but quashed search warrant covering respondents premises i n Cavite. Petitioner elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals (CA) contending that the rule on venue for search warrant application is not jurisdictional. He further asserted that even granting that the rules on search warrants th applications are jurisdictional, the application filed either in the courts of the NCR or 4 Judicial Region is still proper because the crime was continuing and committed in both Paranaque City and Cavite. Issue: Whether or not the case at bar involves a transitory or continuing offense of unfair competition, thus making the search warrant issued by the RTC of Manila covering the respondents premises in Cavite valid. Held: Yes. Nonetheless, we agree with petitioner that this case involves a transitory or continuing offense of unfair competition under Section 168 of Republic Act (RA) No. 8293. Pertinent too is Article 189 (1) of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) that enumerates the elements of unfair competition. Respondents imitation of the general appearance of the petitioners good was done allegedly in Cavite. It sold the goods allegedly in Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila. The alleged acts would constitute a transitory or continuing offense. Thus, clearly, under Section 2 (b) of Rule 126, Section 168 of RA No. 8293 and Article 189 (1) of the RPC, petitioner may apply for a search warrant in any court where any element of the alleged offense was committed, including any of the courts within the National Capital Region (Metro Manila). Wherefore the petition is granted.