Erwin Oliva INQUIRER.net MANILA, Philippines – There is now an ongoing trademark dispute over the name of the popular Filipino band Rivermaya, its manager Lizza Nakpil and lawyer of the band members told INQUIRER.net in separate interviews. Representing the Riverymaya band members, lawyer Patricia Alvarez confirmed that she filed an opposition to Nakpil’s application for the “Riverymaya” trademark with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). Nakpil applied for the Rivermaya trademark with the IPO last July 7, online records of the government agency showed. Rivermaya drummer Mark Edward Escueta, however, also has a pending application for the same trademark, which he filed on October 10. “Lizza Nakpil has attempted to register the name. What she has is an application,” Alvarez said in a telephone interview. IPO rules allow any opposition to trademarks filed with the agency, Alvarez said. The band members formally opposed Nakpil’s trademark application for the “Rivermaya” name in October weeks after Escueta applied for the same trademark with the IPO. In the ongoing dispute, each party can use the trademark “at their own risk,” Alvarez said. In a separate interview, Nakpil said she has been applying for the Riverymaya name since 1994. Online records of the IPO, however, showed that she applied for the trademark in 1996 but was “abandoned.” Nakpil said the IPO published her Rivermaya trademark application on July 7, 2008 but acknowledged that “there’s a chance” trademark applications can be challenged. “There’s an ongoing opposition,” she said in a telephone interview. The Rivermaya band members, consisting of vocalist Jayson Fernandez, bassist Japs Sergio, guitarist Mike Elgar, and Escueta, announced late last month that they have parted ways with Nakpil for unknown reasons. Philippine Daily Inquirer sources claimed the group accused Nakpil of “unauthorized collection of royalties.” Nakpil had described the charge as “silly” and “funny.” “Unauthorized? I’m authorized. I’m the manager. I own the sound recordings. I’m the record label,” Nakpil told INQUIRER.net in an earlier interview. Alvarez claimed that Nakpil’s trademark application was also one of the reasons that led to the band losing trust and confidence with their long-time manager. Nakpil, though disheartened with the band members’ decision to disengage with her, maintained her right to Rivermaya, which she and film director Chito Roño created in 1993. “We conceptualized it, picked the members,” she said. “We put up the band,” Nakpil added, stressing Rivermaya has always been an “auditioned band.” Nakpil said she had always hired musicians to make the band, which had several roster changes through the years, and not the band hiring a manager to work for them. “Rivermaya is a different animal,” she said. Among the band’s former members include Bamboo Mañalac, Rico Blanco and Perf de Castro. Nakpil likened the decision to kick her out of the band to “drivers (in the Ferrari team) firing (team owner) Ferrari.” “It is quite amusing,” she said, recalling the band’s decision. Asked what led to the parting of ways, Nakpil replied, “We don’t share the same vision.” Nakpil said she looks forward to reviving the popularity of Rivermaya, which has been widely known for the hits “Ulan,” “214,” “Kisapmata,” “Hinahanap-hanap Kita,” “Liwanag sa Dilim,” and “You’ll be Safe Here” through its 15 years of existence. She said she continued to have faith in the band. “I always thought that Rivermaya was a great idea” she added. Escueta, for his part, asserted the band members’ claim to the Rivermaya name and stressed that they were working on the band’s next album without Nakpil. “We’re just gonna let our lawyers deal with the details (of the trademark dispute),” Escueta said in a text message to INQUIRER.net. “The important thing is that the people know that Lizza is no longer our agent and that Rivermaya is doing great, so many people have expressed their support and so many doors are opening up for us. Finally, wala nang tension [There’s no more tension]. We’ve already started work on our next album. We wish Lizza well with all her projects.” Nakpil, on the other hand, said it was Escueta who was set to leave the band with his contract expiring this month. “Mark (Escueta) has a strange attitude towards this. With his contract, he thinks he can take the name of the band with him,” Nakpil said in a previous interview. Because of the ongoing dispute, Nakpil insisted that Escueta, Fernandez, Sergio and Elgar cannot use the Rivermaya name if they decide to cut an album or perform onstage without her permission or supervision. She saw the legal dispute as a “weird situation.” “I’m sad over the issue on the Rivermaya name and that it has become a legal issue. The band should be more concerned with making music,” she said. She added: “I hate to think that the last chapter of Rivermaya is going to revolve over a silly trademark issue. Ayoko nito [I don’t like it]. I don’t want it to become absurd.” With additional report from Gerry Plaza.
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By Erwin Oliva INQUIRER.net MANILA, Philippines--Following the news that Rivermaya has parted ways with its manager Liza Nakpil, a controversy over who owns the Rivermaya trademark has started brewing. A check with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) website shows that former manager Liza Nakpil has applied for the trademark “Rivermaya” on July 7, 2008 under the “Entertainment” classification of goods. According to the IPO, the trademark application of Nakpil is “for updating,” which, according to intellectual property expert and lawyer Jun Rodriguez, indicates that the application is awaiting publication. Meanwhile, the same search on the trademark "Riverymaya" produces another applicant, Mark Edward Escueta who is a member of the band. A closer look reveals that his application is still “pending.” Escueta applied for trademark application on October 10, 2008, and has classified the trademark name "Rivermaya" under “clothing, footwear, headgear” and “entertainment.” In all trademark applications, the rule of thumb is “first to file,” Rodriguez added. As of this writing, officials at the Bureau of Trademarks of the IPO are unavailable for comment.
Breaking news: Filipino rock band Rivermaya has left their manager Lizza Nakpil. Excerpt:
MANILA, Philippines—(UPDATE) More than a year after Rivermaya front man Rico Blanco left to pursue a solo career, it’s now the other members’ turn to take drastic action. No, none of them is about to leave the band again. Instead, they have decided to part ways with manager Lizza Nakpil. One band member was said to have consulted with a songwriters’ group about record contracts that Rivermaya has entered into since its inception. One of the major issues at hand, according to a source, is the unauthorized collection of royalties due the band.More details can be read here.
By Abigail Kwok INQUIRER.net WHY is it that good bands eventually break up? It is a common sight, not just here but also abroad, for popular bands to eventually disband. It could be that a member leaves for “greener pastures” or to “pursue a different career path.” Nevertheless, it is a sad sight to see that those who leave are the front men and the songwriters. Once they leave, the band is rendered helpless. Some pick up the pieces and find a replacement, while others just simply pack up their bags and head home. Take The Beatles, for example. The Beatles, admit it or not, are nothing without Paul McCartney and John Lennon. When The Beatles eventually disbanded after the production of their last studio album, Abbey Road, everyone decided to try and make it on their own. Each Beatles member produced his own solo album, but not all of them became a big hit. In fact, it was just McCartney and Lennon’s solo albums that clicked with the listening audience (you can just imagine how Lennon was such a phenomenon back then). One alternative is that, when someone from the band leaves, the others will find a good replacement. Truth be told, though, finding a replacement is not always a great option. Some replacements just don’t click with the listeners, so the band ends up being a flop. It is very rare to see a band be able to pick up the pieces after its main man leaves. That’s why many were impressed with Rivermaya. Rivermaya has undergone several changes internally. Band members came and went, but when front man Bamboo Mañalac decided to leave the band, everyone thought the band was headed downhill. But they were able to find a great replacement through Rico Blanco. Blanco carried the band after Bamboo left, even changing the band’s image to carry the label, “Ang Banda ng Bayan.” Just this year, Blanco announced that he will be leaving the band. All good things come to an end, so they say, but the band never let this bring them down. They launched a reality show to look for an able replacement of Blanco. Just recently, Rivermaya named a new front man in the form of 18-year-old Jayson Fernandez. But before completely absorbing Fernandez, Rivermaya released a single titled Sayang, which upon first hearing you won’t think that it’s Rivermaya! The band sounds completely different minus Blanco. Admittedly, I first thought it was Hale. Kudos to the band, though, for being able to pull things together even without the popular Blanco. Here’s the very heart-wrenching music video. Fernandez was handpicked by the remaining band members themselves to replace Blanco. Also recently, Rivermaya released its latest single titled "Sugal ng Kapalaran," sung by newest front man Fernandez. In fact, Rivermaya got to a great start as the opening act in the recent concert here of Vertical Horizon. Fernandez is different from Blanco, who has a melodic and hypnotizing voice. But admittedly, Fernandez brings in a fresher and a different side of Rivermaya. But since Fernandez is relatively new, he has yet to hear the criticism that all artists experience in the entertainment industry.