Here are the 2 official statements of Lizza Nakpil and Mark P. Escueta, John Paul Sergio, Michael Elgar and Jayson Fernandez
Lizza Nakpil's Official Statement
Musicians Mark P. Escueta, John Paul Sergio, Michaelá Elgar, Jayson Fernandez, and their coordinator Flordeliza Hardin are not connected with the owner of, and therefore are not entitled to the use of the tradename ôRivermayaö of the popular rock band, which was created, developed and financed by Lizza Guerrero Nakpil in 1993. Producers and agents are likewise barred.
The Intellectual Property Office (I.P.O.) of the Philippines, in Decision No. 2009 û 1003 promulgated on August 18, 2009, ordered the recognition of Ms. NakpilÆs ownership of the trademark Rivermaya, with Serial No. 4-2008-00818. The order was signed by IPO Director Estrellita Beltran-Abelardo.
Escueta, Sergio, Elgar, Fernandez, and Hardin, former employees, are also no longer connected to the owner and manager of Rivermaya. They were separated from service over an unresolved dispute over royalties to which they were not entitled, after they rejected an accounting by a certified audit firm.
Ms. Nakpil says they have been misrepresenting their ownership of the trademark Rivermaya by claiming that the tussle between the former members and the owner of the trademark is a private matter. She emphasized that it is not, and that it is a judgment of the Intellectual Property Office and actionable under the law.
Ms. NakpilÆs registration of the trademark was made on July 7, 2008, and under the principle of ôfirst to fileö has been operational since that date. Proper notices to that effect were served to Escueta and the other performers. All companies doing business with Rivermaya in 2008, without the authority of Ms. Nakpil would be at their own risk.
An opposition filed by Escueta, Sergio, Elgar, and Fernandez to the ownership of said Rivermaya trademark on October 21, 2008 was dismissed and the IPO formally recognized Ms. NakpilÆs ownership. It is notable that Sergio and Elgar were recruited for the band only in 2001, and that Jayson Fernandez, in 2007. Rivermaya was founded and been in the music business since 1993, when Fernandez was 3 years old.
In the same decision, a competing registration for the trademark Rivermaya, filed by Mark Escueta solely under his name was likewise dismissed, further bolstering Ms. NakpilÆs lawful ownership of the trademark. EscuetaÆs contract expired and was not renewed in 2008.
Ms. NakpilÆs lawyers say that pursuant to this legal decision, all Philippine and foreign concerts, album and song releases, contracts, or projects by any groups, producers, sponsors, and venues utilizing the name Rivermaya without the express authorization of Ms. Nakpil would constitute a violation of law and violators will be subject to legal action, both civil or criminal, aside from damages and other penalties which may be imposed by law.
The decision of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines is retroactive in effectivity to the date of original registration on July 7th, 2008. It likewise gives protection to Ms. NakpilÆs trademark right of ownership worldwide, as a result of the Philippines governmentÆs participation in international intellectual property treaties and conventions.
Mark P. Escueta, John Paul Sergio, Michael Elgar and Jayson Fernandez's Official Statement
While the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has issued a Decision in the
matter of Lizza NakpilÆs application for trademark registration of
ôRivermaya,ö there is nothing in the Decision, which resolves or
confirms Lizza NakpilÆs claim of ownership.
The Decision, which is far from being final, merely states that our
opposition was dismissed ôwithout prejudice,ö which means that the
Decision itself does not preclude us from asserting our right to
establish our ownership of the servicemark ôRivermayaö in the proper
forum, such as the right to file a Petition for Cancellation in the event
that Lizza Nakpil or any other entity registers ôRivermayaö in their
In the Decision, the IPO Director found no necessity to pass upon the
merits of the case, as she merely dwelled on pure technicality.
Lizza Nakpil is not, and has never been, the creator of Rivermaya. The
truth is, the name ôRivermayaö was created, collectively, by Nathan
Azarcon, Bamboo Ma±alac, Perfecto De Castro, Rico Blanco and Mark
Escueta in 1994. Nathan Azarcon and Bamboo Ma±alac have confirmed
this fact in a Joint Affidavit submitted to the IPO in support of our
opposition to Lizza NakpilÆs application.
Since the creation of the name ôRivermaya,ö the band members had
changed, except for Mark Escueta who had stayed, and who, together
with the current members, Mike Elgar, Japs Sergio, and recently,
Jayson Fernandez, kept Rivermaya among the top bands in the
country today. Through our original music, the past and current
members of Rivermaya band have continuously used and successfully
promoted the name and mark ôRIVERMAYAö in the entertainment
scene here and abroad.
Lizza Nakpil, on the other hand, was a mere manager-agent of the
individual members of the Rivermaya band, who, in evident bad faith,
had applied for the registration of the servicemark ôRivermayaö in July
2008, or three (3) months after an unfortunate incident in April 2008,
which led to the loss of our trust in Lizza Nakpil as our manager-agent,
the eventual revocation of her authority to represent us, and the filing
of a criminal action against her before the Office of the City Prosecutor
If there is any justice to be had from our legal system, we are confident
that once the merits of the case are considered, Lizza NakpilÆs application
shall be denied. Under the Intellectual Property Code, ôRivermayaö is
unregistrable since it is a name, which collectively identifies us as a band.
ôRivermaya,ö has been made well-known by, and is really all about the
music created by the artists who became part of the Rivermaya band.
Lizza Nakpil is not one of them.
Our lawyers are currently taking the appropriate action on the matter. In
the meantime, we shall continue to use the name and mark ôRivermaya,ö
despite Lizza NakpilÆs acts of harassment and misrepresentation.