Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines Allegedly Steals Logo

When you want to protect your intellectual property, one of the first steps is to go to the Intellectual Property of the Philippines. This is why netizens found it ironic that the Intellectual Property of the Philippines allegedly stole the logo that they are now using.

Kristian Kabuay, the founder of Baybayin.com, wrote about the incident in his website. (See the full post here.)

For those who don’t know him yet, his art is focused on the ancient writing system from the Philippines called Baybayin. It was nearly extinct due to colonization and is being brought back by Christian and a few other young Filipino-Americans. As a leading authority for the propagation and instruction of the script, he developed a modern style of the writing system called Tulang Kalis (Poetry of the Sword) and recently introduced it as Filipino Calligraphy with a series of live demonstrations and lectures at the Asian Art Museum this past October 2012. He has spoken at Stanford, Berkeley, SF State, Davis, Sonoma State and the University of the Philippines.

He wrote:

Yes, you read that right. Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines stole their Baybayin logo. As you may know, I’ve gone through own issues with theft from Philippine companies. For the record, I contacted the agency for help but never got a response. My buddy Norman de los Santos goes through this several times a year as well with his fonts. This one issue is special because the agency that’s supposed to be the protectors of Intellectual Property in the Philippines stole a concept presented to them during the pitch phase! Design veterans know what I’m talking about. You have your pitch presentation and the client seems to like it then all of a sudden they used your ideas in the product. Very shady shit. So around 2011, John Leyson, who at that time was running the design agency, Liquid and Liquid pitched a redesign of the logo.

Intellectual Property

As you can see there’s quite a difference from the cluttered original version. Below is John’s explanation of the logo and you’ll see that they even copied the description.

Intellectual Property 2

From IPO:Intellectual Property 3

This type of blatant behavior coming from the very top is disturbing. It sets a precedence for other companies who’ve already been stealing artwork. This is not fair use or taking inspiration. How can the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines enforce IP laws when they’ve broken it themselves and refused to acknowledge it? John Leyson and team have tried to resolve the issue directly with them but the arrogance of the agency forced this issue to be public. We’ve called them out on their FB page but they just delete the comments. Stay tuned….

What do you think of this incident? Have you had any similar experiences? Some netizens have tried commenting on Facebook page of the IP Philippines. Do you think this might help resolve the problem? Let us know in the comments below!