Collezione C2 and Philippine Map

Written By bryanboy

Collezione C2 and Philippine Map

I came across THIS article on the Philippine Daily Inquirer about Filipino mass-chain label "Collezione C2" and designer Rhett Eala. It's a fairly successful brand here in the Philippines known for the use of the Philippine map on its clothes. 

Collezione C2

Upon reading the article further, this struck a nerve:

Qua did the unprecedented by having the Philippine map patented a few years ago, giving C2 exclusive legal rights to put the map on articles of clothing.

But this hasn’t stopped copycats from following their lead. Rather
than test the law by hailing wannabes to court, Qua, for now, at least,
would rather let C2’s quality and range of offerings do the talking.

My first reaction was: ARE THEY SERIOUS?

Now I'm all for patriotism, and promoting the Philippines, nationalism chuchubells but I feel uneasy knowing a private individual or company get EXCLUSIVE rights to use the national flag, country outline or map on clothes or any merchandise for that matter. The design is universally used by others as part of a national identity. 

If they modified the design of the map, added unique characteristics to it, then yes, why not? Because the new design is a variation…

Now I'm no expert in copyright, trademark or patent issues but to my knowledge, you cannot patent a design. You may patent inventions, yes, but design marks, no. You may only copyright it or trademark it. There's a difference between patents and trademarks.

Collezione C2 Philippine MapI did a very quick search at the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines website where I found a pending TRADEMARK application by a certain "Ramesh Mirpuri" about the use of the Philippine map on apparel and garments.

The application was filed on June 19, 2009. The image you see on the right is what they've applied for. There's nothing unique to it. It's not even a variation of the Philippine map. It is what it is!

You may search using this page. You'll see there are 16 applications under the search term "Philippine Map". Most of the results have modified version of the map or the map itself is part of something else.

It would be interesting to see what happens to this application. Patented a few years ago? O RLY?

According to the IPO website, Rule 101 of the Rules& Regulations

Registrability. — A
mark cannot be registered if it: 

Consists of immoral, deceptive or scandalous matter, or matter
which may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons, living
or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into
contempt or disrepute;

Consists of the flag or coat of arms or other insignia of the
or any of its political subdivisions, or of any foreign
nation, or any simulation thereof;

Now I'm not sure whether Ramesh Mirpuri is related to Collezione C2 or
Henry Qua but that's the first thing I found. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong or if I'm missing out on anything. I can't be bothered
spending more time on this.

I dunno. What do you all think? I'm not hatin'. Personally I like the idea of using national symbols to promote patriotism but to try to get exclusivity on something that belongs to the public? Hmm…

Just wondering.

screenshot via: collezione c2


  1. Good post! So you’re not just a pretty face & hot body ;) Your instincts are probably right – we tend to make laws that reflect what we believe to be right or wrong. I’ll be interested to see how/where this goes.

  2. Reminds me of the time YSL tried patenting Ylang-ylang for their exclusive use. It might seem a bit kapal muks, but can’t blame ’em for trying.
    Actually, I hosted the launch of this collection. I thought it was clever in the beginning. But now, it’s EVERYWHERE. And I even see it on people I don’t like.

  3. Of course they shouldn’t have legal rights to using the map, but I do think they should be able to protect the style and way in which they use it.
    Because while the map itself is not unique, no one else thought to use it this way.
    But ultimately, I don’t think it matters what they do.
    Trademark or no trademark, it will still be sold at Tiange.

  4. ooooooowwwwwwww thats the reason why bench (also a filipino brand) added outline of ninony glasses on thier shirts. you are so right ms bryan boy no individual should be allowed to own an identity that is shared by millions. and yes from what i know you can not patent designs. hello oscar red carpet gowns = ABS

  5. I think they won’t file a case because they think they couldn’t. Once the courts realize that their application was mistakenly approved, it could be revoked.

  6. You are absolutely right. . .IT is the Philippine map, whatever color it may be, it is the Philippine map. WE use this in school, in lectures, in pictures . . .no one shoudl own the Philippine map. That’s hilarious and disturbing at the same time.

  7. eeks sorry. didn’t see the word “pending”. i do hope it gets rejected and maybe this post of yours will get the attention of “authorities”.

  8. great observation BB.
    how can someone own the philippine map outline.
    are they on crack or something?
    if their application gets approved,
    maybe i should apply a copyright for the national flag or something.

  9. great observation BB.
    how can someone own the philippine map outline.
    are they on crack or something?
    if their application gets approved,
    maybe i should get the national flag or something.

  10. blessed be ate BB for your being opinionated. I really want to post this in my FB account so that I can educate my posse about this pressing issue.

  11. first of all i hate the’s not even something new,ingenious,and interesting.the philippine map has been there for what?collezione should have asked the permission of atlas makers or google earth for this before acquiring it their own.hello they did not create the philippines to earn exclusive rights for that. should i make the same thing and omit few of the tiny islands, the Batanes or Tawi-Tawi perhaps, will they sue me?lol

    i love the brand(the C2 line) though,it brings the closest A.P.C. looks at very affordable prices.their clean and minimalist designs are very nice.

  12. conduct a third party observation while the patent is pending to raise the issue formally:-)

  13. hey guys, don’t be so affected with the Philippine map stitched in a dress, it’s actually cute, and very popular specially in balikbayan’s, and it’ is also a perfect gift for them, in Christmas, it’s a great souvenir actually one the easiest way of patriotism and love for our country…

  14. Hi bryanboy, I know this reply is like sooo yesterday, but I just want you to know that you’re correct!
    I took up Intellectual Property Laws 2 semesters ago in law school. I wonder who the heck Collezione’s legal reps are for glossing over such important details in their statements!
    anyway, kudos to you there in NY!

  15. D Dempsey in Ireland

    Huh? Looks like a beetle-like insect walking on two legs like a person. Yuck!

  16. Gilbert

    Anyway, wearing “patriotic” clothes will only promote a superficial understanding of Nationalism. Nationalism is not and will never be a fashion trend. You should be enlightened with your idea of patriotism.

  17. I bought a collezione shirt with a Philippine flag design last week, after 1 wash, the red part seep into the white sleeves. how can I remove that?

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