An Update on Plagiarism & Logo-Napping…



Two weeks ago I wrote this post on MVP’s graduation speeches at Ateneo University where it seems several passages were plagiarized. As I wrote in that post, I thought MVP did the right things, taking full responsibility and earnestly apologizing for the transgression. He also resigned from the Board of Trustees, but a few days later the administration of the Ateneo voted NOT to accept his tendered resignation. I was surprised that an educational institution of Ateneo’s caliber and reputation would take such a position and I wasn’t the only one who felt that was a poor move… A day or two later, MVP has indeed insisted on stepping down (as I guessed he might in the comments of that original post) and the Ateneo administration is the one left looking like it has compromised its own principles and sense of right and wrong. MVP emerges relatively unscathed and Ateneo gets two thumbs down…

As for the Zubuchon logo-napping incident in this post here, if you haven’t had a chance to go back and read the comments section, then you would have missed these two comments from a reader who appears to be related to the owner or is in fact the owner of the “Ultimate Prito Experience” outlet that had used the pig logo of Zubuchon on a tarpaulin outside their future place of business in Alabang:

“lee domingo” commented:

“just to correct the problem with the logo we already did removed the logo of the pig. my only concern right now is that if the blog will continue saying bad writings against me and the name of our business. we already confide for a legal action about it. and just so they know the logo is not patented to anyone. before reacting to this matter a clear mind person should clarify things first b4 doin action. this will lead to serious matter that no one will like. and we are ready for that as for the owner of zubo chon. we will not make any public apology bcoz what he did to me on the this blog needs more apology. and i dont even know that this logo is existing here in the philippines. this is unintentional . and this site is being investigated by the NBI who ever made , write or even degrade my personality with out asking me first. and by the time i posted the tarp . NO ONE OWNED THE LOGO as per the GOV. AGENCY conformed . obviously he just patented the logo last APRIL 5, 2010. and iam not dying to claimed t hat i owned that logo. NO ONE knows me here SO NO one HAVE THE RIGHT TO WRITE ANY BAD THINGS ABOUT ME OR TO ANYONE MADE A MISTAKE THAT CAN BE CORRECTED WITH OUT LEADING TO THIS UNLIKELY TALKS. – iam willing to answer all your queries 09164690734. iam not a criminal for you to judge me and for me to rciv this kind of comments, MORE SHAME to those who dont know the real score and judging it by one side.”

followed immediately after by a second comment, also by “lee domingo”:

“for those who gave their comments here. you guys know whats the real score b4 saying things? hey if ur a diplomat person ask both side b4 creating talks… LOOK! WHEN did he registerd the LOGO? and i dont even know that this ZUBO CHON exist. once and for all. I DEMAND THAT THIS FORUM SHOULD BE DELETED. WE ARE READY FOR ANYTHING SHAME TO THOSE WHO JUDGE A PERSON WITH OUT CLARIFYING THINGS. bago kayo magsalita kung may pinag aralan kayo. mag tanong kayo ng maayos. kahit san lupalop kayo ng mundo kung manlalait kayo ng pagkatao. ask your self kung d kayo nagkakamali.”

First of all, let me keep this at the business level, meaning the issue is that the “Ultimate Prito Experience” (and presumably their owners, whom I cannot identify with certainty at this stage) stole/copied the Zubuchon logo for their own business logo, and I believe that is simply wrong. I think most people would agree with that view. It is wrong to copy the answers of your classmate on a school test. It is wrong to steal the wallet of a person even if they left it out in the open. It is wrong to copy someone’s biodata and represent it as your own when you did not go to the school’s in that biodata, or work in the positions outlined therein. So basically, stealing a logo is WRONG.

The two comments above are mind-numbingly ridiculous, in my personal opinion. And I (Marketman) did respond to them with this comment soon after they were posted:

“Lee, thank you for your comments. Zubuchon’s legal counsel/lawyer will call you at the number you gave (I am assuming you are the owner or related to the owner of Ultimate Prito Experience as opposed to someone who just posted a picture of the about to open business in Alabang). Thank you for taking down the logo of the pig.

However, it is clear from your comments that you do not seem to understand that what Ultimate Prito Experience did in copying a logo was wrong. Whoever prepared that logo (either internally or externally, such as a graphic designer at a print shop) apparently took it from Zubuchon, as it appears to be identical to the Zubuchon pig logo. Zubuchon the corporation was registered in the third quarter of 2009, the logo was developed in late October and early November 2009 with the use of professional graphic artists and advice from a top advertising agency. The logo was introduced to the public in mid-November via an announcement on this blog. It has been in use in Zubuchon’s materials since then. And yes, its official filing at the IPO office was done this year, however, it takes several weeks for a logo filing to be confirmed. Nevertheless, we developed the logo from scratch and have the detailed studies to prove it, therefore we have the rights to the logo, it has been in active use, and it is linked to a specific corporate entity duly registered with the SEC and DTI. When Ultimate Prito Experience used the same pig logo in its tarpaulin announcing the imminent opening of the business, it was essentially violating the intellectual property rights of Zubuchon and as the comments above indicate, most people would know and understand that taking such a logo/design without permission is simply wrong. I am not aware of who actually did take the Zubuchon pig logo, either a company designer, owner or third party graphic designer, but it was still apparently taken from another source rather than an original design. If you had a contact number on your tarpaulin displayed at the soon to open store, I would have definitely had our lawyers contact you directly. Now that you have provided your number in your comment, I will have the lawyer phone you when he gets back to his office.

If you were not the one who developed the logo, I am sure our lawyers will be interested to know who did in fact “create” the Ultimate Prito Experience logo.”

Zubuchon’s legal counsel was finally able to reach “lee domingo” after several attempts, and while he confirmed that the tarpaulin has been taken down, his major concern was whether he was going to be sued or not. And he reiterated some of the points raised in his two comments above. Before a complete discussion could be concluded, the line was cut off and the conversation left at that. Basically, the logo has been removed, but no apology is forthcoming. So let me conclude this matter by stating the following, for the benefit of “lee domingo” and any other future logo-napper wannabees:

Intentionally stealing another company’s logo is wrong. I hope UPE realizes that now. And claiming innocence/ignorance that the logo was a Philippine one or that it was not patented or registered is simply absurd, since UPE was in a position to tell from where it OBTAINED the design for the logo to begin with, and stealing locally or internationally is just that, stealing. UPE should have taken a lesson from MVP up above by owning up to their mistake, acknowledging that it was wrong and offering an earnest apology. UPE is lucky that pursuing lawsuits in this country is more than slightly troublesome and costly, so at least in this instance UPE has escaped the potential headaches that would accompany such a lawsuit. However, if they had insisted on continuing to use the Zubuchon pig logo, I can assure you Zubuchon would sue for damages without hesitation.

As for the logic, rationale, content and style of the comments above, I leave that to the overall readership of this blog to read for themselves. I will add, however, that I did look up what appears to be the commenter’s friendster account, where they had quickly removed a photo of the UPE tarpaulin with the copied logo, and since they posted FOR PUBLIC VIEWING their personal details (I have printed them for the lawyers files), here are some other thoughts… A person claiming to go to one school when they did NOT actually attend that school is lying. If such educational credentials are misrepresented in actual job applications, that would be a more serious offense, and justified cause for dismissal. So if one LISTS that they have attended the “university of columbia NY” then I hope they actually did at least attend the said school. And since it’s just the commenter’s rotten luck that I DID actually attend the Columbia University Graduate School of Business, and I have restricted on-line access to the university’s list of esteemed alumni, I can tell you there is no listed alumnus by the name in that friendster account, either undergraduate college or graduate school. But then again, I would have expected most folks who managed to gain acceptance to Columbia University to know the difference between right and wrong with respect to stealing a corporate logo. And that they would be able to frame a blog comment in reasonably straight English and/or their native language. And that they would know the school is called “Columbia University” and not “university of columbia NY”. I would also hope they would have learned to admit when they were wrong (and especially when caught red-handed) and offer a genuine apology.

Lastly, I do not appreciate the commenter’s blatant threat/comment about having this blog investigated by the NBI as I know I did not do anything wrong by writing a post that exposed the apparent theft of Zubuchon’s pig logo. As our lawyers and perhaps the commenter’s lawyers may have explained, it is UPE that was clearly in the wrong. But since the commenter now has our lawyer’s telephone number, the NBI investigators can easily contact us directly, and we would cooperate fully in any such an investigation. So since government agencies seem to command some respect in the commenter’s realm, let me remind the commenter that before UPE ever opens its doors to the public to sell its first piece of fried liempo or bangus, I hope UPE will have ALL of its legal paperwork in place. That registrations with the proper government authorities are all completed (business permits, mayor’s licenses, TIN, etc.). That their premises have been inspected by the agencies that oversee food businesses and you meet their stringent requirements for hygiene, etc. That all your employees handling food have passed medical examinations and undergone exams for parasites, tuberculosis, etc. That the business is duly registered with the BIR. That they have official receipts printed from the minute that you open for business, tax identification numbers, etc. That they pay legal wages, all required employee benefits, etc. Yes, all of those are NECESSARY if you don’t want to be in violation of the laws of the Republic of the Philippines. So good luck with your new business venture, Marketman and readers and Zubuchon fans from near and far will be keeping a wary eye on UPE from the day it opens for business.

Note: To MM readers and commenters, I will leave the comments section of this post open, but I ask you to be circumspect in your comments, focusing only on the issues at hand, not the individual personalities involved. I am traveling today and will have limited access to the internet. Many thanks. :)


85 Responses

  1. I believe in the law of karma.

    And to Mr. Domingo of “Columbia University”, let me share with you a favorite saying – Empty Cans make a LOT of noise.

  2. Lee Domingo wrote “before reacting to this matter a clear mind person should clarify things first b4 doin action.” If you were in your right mind, you would’ve researched every aspect of the business you’re starting. You can’t claim ignorance to be absolved. There are existing copyright laws in the Philippines and a lot of people blatantly choose to ignore them. MM has all the right to pursue a case against this idiot.

  3. It sometimes saddens me whenever I read something from a Filipino (whether in English or Pilipino) without the proper spelling, grammar and/or sentence structure, much so when it is written in text-speak. Such writings actually speak of the inferiority of the educational quality Filipino students receive. The advent of SMS made it only worst. In my job, I’ve seen letters from Filipinos applying for jobs full of of grammatical errors (spelling mistakes are rare–thanks to Word’s spell-check tool) and sometimes laced with SMS shortcuts, as if the writer is unaware that his/her future depends on that letter!

    Not really sure what our educational system has become of, but I hope the “lee domingos” out there with their frustrating command of the English language, would give the country’s next leaders an idea that the country would remain poor if the nation’s schools continue to churn out college graduates who are orientated to take shortcuts—be it in writing (thru the use of textspeak) or by copying other people’s logo.

  4. Very well said MM. But I believe that this post is giving UPE the much sought attention, with the added pressure I might add.

    Irregardless of your background, you can still make a living, heck you can be President in this country even if you’re not qualified to be one.

    One thing is for certain, everything will be clear in the end. I just wish UPE good luck in their endeavors. Hope that they serve good food.

  5. Amazing!!!! He not only steals logos but lies about his educational attainment. University of Columbia, NY?!?! I am sure he lied about HSBC in his Friendster too. Surely HSBC would never have anything to do with this character. Pathetic

  6. I have always had high hopes for entrepreneurs to help our country progress. If this is the kind of entrepreneur (UPE) we’ll be getting, I fear for our country’s future. It is bothering to know that people who think this way can are allowed to set up a business and will eventually earn from other people’s money. I do hope UPE will learn its lesson so we can all move on in peace.

  7. this is not in anyway intended to defend “lee” (i don’t know him from adam and what he did was clearly wrong), but that thing about having “attended” such and such university is a rather common shorthand (here in the philippines, at least) for saying one went to that school but failed to graduate. it gives the wrong impression but the literal claim is correct.

    a generation back, a hotshot stockbroker would mention at every opportunity that he went to a well-known university in pennsylania for a phd in finance (he was trying to impress the yokels, the better to attract clients, i suppose). upon checking by another stockbroker (a master’s graduate), his name could not be found in the alumni directory. it turned out the guy indeed was a doctoral candidate who abandoned work on his dissertation when he started making a pile on his return to manila. here there’s an element of dishonesty involved.

    but there’s a case i’m familiar with which raises some ambiguity. she went to the columbia school of journalism for a term (graduate level) then transferred to northwestern’s medill school of journalism (also graduate level) for two terms. the course of study was prepared for her by the fulbright committee as part of a one-year non-degree program. couldn’t she say in all honesty she attended columbia and northwestern?

  8. why would the NBI investigate this blog again? the grammar, sentence structure and the belief that a threat of “isusumbong ko kayo sa pulis” is so NOT Columbia University. actually, not educated at all. if you were a responsible business owner, you would know that plagiarism is a crime and would deal with this issue in a professional matter.

  9. Not a very pleasant topic to go around since we all make mistakes. Not very pleasant as well to pass judgement on the character of people we don’t really know. Let’s leave it to the lawywers. MM, hope you’ll be able to post soon another intersting dish you made.

  10. Hi MM, this UPE is located in Las Pinas, not Alabang. Anyway, I may check it out as I live nearby the place…

  11. I suppose one can say, this is the penultimate experience, getting fried before the final roast.

    My hubby’s grandma would say, and you all may not agree, “if someone lies to you, just take that as an apology.” I add…..but one must take the consequences.

  12. Teresa, I agree we all make mistakes and ruffle our feathers to get attention or impress others. What is very sad is when people do not accept their mistakes. What is even sadder is the arrogance displayed by this person who committed wrong and is not humble enough to apologize and bring on silly threats.

  13. It is all so unsettling as “Lee Domingo” is somehat menacing and hostile – definitely the air of a bully who needs to be put in his place.

  14. Let’s not waste our time with lee domingo. He is definitely not of our league.Humans and cockroaches are so different. Hope to read more foodie blogs from you MM!

  15. I think a lot of people would think twice about patronizing that business after reading this post! Well said, MM!

  16. I’d understand if someone were to state that he/she would like to attend USF but meant SFSU, both in SF and both have the word university in their respective names, but that would be almost sacriligeous to misstate your alma mater’s (or maybe lee domingo is still in attendance perhaps–but I doubt that) name altogether. Besides that, there are no other Columbia Universities (or any derivative of that name) in NYC (proper) other than Columbia University.

  17. hi all. this morbid fascination mounts the farther (pedants out there, help. further of farther?) i get into mr. lee domingo’s…erm, reply. the same fascination one gets when seeing something grisly. congratulations are in order for his business venture, who knows how much he sunk into UPE, but he does miss the point, doesn’t he?

    unintentional, yes, but he didn’t have to be an ass about it. can you use ass in this blog MM? siya na gani ang naa’y sayop, siya pa dyud ang sabaan.

  18. MM lays out a rather ominous list of things this company must do to comply with all Philippine laws. I suspect that something on this list will provide the karma they so deserve.

  19. MM, if you will indulge me, this is a teaching moment about truth and integrity versus lies, deceit, plagiarism.

    In not a coincidental way, today’ reflection in Living Faith based on Psalm 119: ‘Remove from me the way of falsehood’ , Kristin Armstrong writes ” Departure from integrity is subtle and insidious….it is allowing for a small deviation from truth, rationalizing it and downplaying it, so the next indiscretion seems like no big deal – and likewise the next and the next, until one can no longer remember how it felt to be clean. It is not enough to try to avoid deceit, we have to actively pursue truth. We have to be intentional and diligent about seeking God’s teaching and living in the light.”

    As for the written word these days, it is lamentable that we write as we text.

  20. Let this be a lesson to a young whippersnapper — 1. follow ethical business practices 2. English — learn to read and write it well especially if you really did go to Columbia 3. put privacy settings on Facebook and Friendster 4. do not to make the same @#$%%^&^ Blue Steel pose in all your pics — u r not that hott

  21. No one should ever take credit or benefit from things that they did not pay for, deserve or work for. Shame on that person, and he has the gall to summon the NBI?

    This post also sadly illustrates how the Pinoy has mutated into a textspeak culture.

  22. I got the beginnings of a migraine after reading the comments of “Lee Domingo.”

    Oooh, he threatened to bring in the NBI. I’m quaking in my boots.

    Seriously, why not just apologize, “Lee Domingo”? Plain and simple, the logo of Ultimate Prito Experience was copied and stolen. I won’t even try the Manny Pangilinan line of “borrowing” here. Just apologize and move forward, hopefully with much more honesty.

  23. If I have a business and somebody in my business breached something, of course I’ll be the one who will apologize and fix the muck up as ako ang kumakatawan doon sa business na iyon, that is called professionalism! Yan lang po ang masasabi ko…
    ps. it doesn’t matter if the logo exist overseas or locally, it is still wrong to use without permission…

  24. @Franky Canada– was always told “further in thought, farther in distance”. Sorry, couldn’t resist commenting :)

  25. Lee Domingo’s reaction was PATHETIC! I have not met you personally, Marketman, but judging from how you handle this blog and your charity work, you seem to be a person with a big heart and I’m sure a genuine apology from Lee would have settled the case with you and besides, that is the proper thing to do. Irregardless of the circumstances Lee mentioned, the bottom line is – he copied Zubuchon’s logo and that is wrong! With regards to his threat of the NBI closing down this blog, isn’t that a human rights violation?

  26. This guy is a total jerk. By the way, we watched Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservation about the lechon in Cebu that tastes like candy yesterday afternoon here in Florida, it was fun as always.

  27. Very well explained MM – another lesson in the classroom of life! And for the other party, I pray that your cuisine will come out better than your English grammar. Good luck on your endeavour!

  28. I just checked his facebook account and it says there that he graduated at New Era College. It clearly shows that this Lee Domingo is a pathetic liar. Grabe naman sa imbento! You should be ashame of yourself! And what is that “model look pose” in all of your pictures???! Nagmukha ka tuloy callboy sa litrato.

    PS: Lee you might want to call NBI to investigate my post here. :)

  29. Jerk magnet talaga si MM, hahaha! Okay lang, pampasaya para sa ating mga Marketmanila readers.

  30. another negosho to boycott…. you just lost some costumers dude, and you havent started yet.

  31. I got a headache just by trying to read his comments….I wish people would, at the least, avoid text script esp when discussing something important. Very well said MM. I wish I can be as cool as you when dealing with such situations.

  32. MM’s scary when he’s riled up. The educational background information is just more icing on the karma cake.

  33. As of last night, the tarpaulin which used to display the Zubuchon pig with the words “Ultimate Prito Experience” was already taken out…

  34. I humbly apologize in behalf of my namesake for all the ire and rage he has fueled by his actions and words (incoherent and incohomprehensible but still words).

    Have a great day everyone :)

  35. well said MM! this guy’s comment gave me a headache. i can’t believe that he is actually justifying the fact that since the logo has no patent, he has a right to use it. stealing is stealing. you don’t need to be a graduate of columbia university or wherever heck he graduated from to understand that.

  36. Was he(LD) craving for attention? Fortunately or unfortunately he got it .
    No more text script please! real eyesore

  37. If I were in marketman’s shoes, I would definitely be fuming for such arrogance and irrationality. And I would have loved to utter the line, “I’ll tell my lawyer to call your lawyer.” (If he has one, that is.)

  38. WOW SUMAKIT PO ANG ULO KO S PAGBABASA…..anyway ok na ok po ang sagot nyo wala na pong kailangan idagdag doon.

  39. Whoa! This “lee domingo” is just proud, it’s so annoying! From a legal perspective, on what grounds will he file a legal action for? Marketman never wrote anything bad about his business- there was no mention about the quality of food, nor the address of the business- and he did not encourage his readers to boycott his product. Marketman, I’m sure you have a good lawyer, and you will surely win in a civil action for damages.

  40. @James, I was thinking of that exact same site, haha.

    Lee has no idea how many food industry leaders/editors/resto owners/global foodies read and comment on this blog. Big mistake, BIIIG mistake.

  41. sya na nga ang nagkamali, sya pa ang may ganang magalit!

    go MM! we’re behind you!=)

  42. @vicki2, Philippines – thank you.

    it’s hard to be objective when the person looks like a douchebag. and MM will agree with me when i say that perception is reality. whatever sympathies i may have had for the then-unseen mr. domingo quickly dissipated when i saw the duckface and couture le sac de douche. merde. tabarnak.

    quickly learn from this post mr. domingo. people with more experience and wisdom than you took some time out of their lives to point out your errors and have even given counsel. take it as sound business advice.

    turn the situation around – gawd, i’m sitting halfway around the world and i can think of a few things to win over MM’s readers (well, some of them, anyway). if the food is good and customer service exceptional, people will keep coming back. i don’t know if you’ve noticed, but food is imbedded in our culture. everything always comes back to food. someone’s probably reading this now munching on something, or thinking of eating green mangoes with bagoong. or smelling their neighbour’s adobo/paksiw/tuyo smell wafting in through the windows. or the question of “kumain ka na?”

    and don’t keep crying i’m siccing the nbi on you. marami pa silang iniintindi. IMPORTANT stuff, you know?

  43. @Franky: thanks for the good laugh (couture de …)! I doubt someone who would post such ridiculous messages would even try to learn from what MM and the rest of us have posted. He knows he’s right. He’s been insulted, that’s all that counts … nevermind that the “insult” was simply pointing out that his business stole a logo.

  44. People who text speak in typing dont they have a hard time typing their message on their keyboard? i do. i cant get my message through. i think that is the thing the mr lee domingo’s comment for marketman happened. he was typing in a normal mode and inserting text speak words. his message are all bundled up. he cant get his thoughts clearly. and his friendster account profile is all littered with misspelled words. beautiful spelled beutiful

  45. Somewhere in his comments, I was wondering if he was Filipino or foreign. It was incoherent.

    Anyway, sadly, some small (or sometimes, even big) agencies have this mentality that anything that pops up in an image search on google is free for use. I’ve heard this before. So as clients, we have to make sure, the images agencies give us are not copied/ stolen/ unpaid for. In the end, if it’s attached to our business name, we are accountable for it.

    This guy Lee seems like he really has no clue — about IP or local laws or just plain decency. Maybe he’s young and foolish. But he’s dabbling in the real world now. He could have just apologized and it would have been over. But maybe his youthful pride got in the way … or all the cholesterol from his fried stuff took over his brain cells.

  46. My sister who is a high school English teacher in L.A. unified school district, googles phrases or sentences from her student’s papers and she determines easily who plagiarized—-there is no excuse— it’s outright failure!!! Because plagiarism is stealing!

    She had this arrogant Armenian student last year who was insisting he did his paper— so my sister listed down the author of each phrase/ sentence/paragraph found in his paper. He then begged her for a second chance after that!

    With today’s technology, I can’t believe there are people that think they won’t get caught with stealing someone’s idea! I guess If there are punitive damages maybe people would think twice before they plagiarize!

  47. just a simple comment: if one is not comfortable writing in english do so in tagalog so you get your message across. I highly doubt if Columbia will let someone who writes this way graduate. It was so hard trying to decipher what he meant and also the grammatical errors were just too much. Sorry but you are wasting your time on this MM.

  48. @javjavy: More than likely, his Tagalog grammar, punctuation, and spelling are equally as atrocious.

  49. I wonder…has anyone gone by the UPE shop to see if the tarp has actually been removed? I wouldn’t put it past this guy to say he took the logo down and then continue to use it.

  50. I’ll take my cue from MM, to keep this at a business level.

    Will anyone of you take the owner’s word that this is the ultimate prito experience? This coming from one who dishes out deceit one after the other?

    Naahh, didn’t think so.

    A taste of UPE, anyone?

  51. According to his Friendster site, one can experience “extreme liempo” at UPE. So many superlatives. Makes one wonder.

  52. two words ….. Poetic Justice ….

    may take awhile ……………….. but it’ll come!

  53. @Franky: sorry, too many other restaurants to try before giving this delight of a human being a chance.

  54. But wait! They both look like a silhoutte of Wilbur the pig from Charlotte’s web! hmmm… can a logo plagerize a storybook character?

  55. clairsimei, yes, they do have a bit of spry and happy outlook of wilbur, but a confidence all its own, I think. Here are some web accessible images of wilbur

  56. i’m really sorry but i’ve to speak up again. this person is an unrepentant thief and a bully. the NBI? he dares put out an idle threat like that? it really just gets my goat at how these kinds of people behave. this person has… no breeding!

    PS: if he is from New Era College, then there is a chance that this lee domingo may be part of the INC. if he is, i wonder what his church ministers will think of the blatantly “unrighteous” act.

  57. i am hobby visual artist, is there a chance you would like to use some of my images? i guess it would be nice for your blog :-)
    totally like your design! send me a e-mail please in case you want to see my pics

Comments are closed.



Subscribe To Updates

No spam, only notifications about new blog posts.