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Republic of the Philippines Said article provides

Nobody may reproduce another person's work
without the owner's consent, even merely to
EN BANC annotate or add anything to it, or improve any
edition thereof.
G.R. No. L-11937 April 1, 1918
Therefore, in order that said article may be violated, it is not
necessary, as the court below seems to have understood,
PEDRO SERRANO LAKTAW, plaintiff-appellant, that a work should be an improper copy of another work
vs. previously published. It is enough that another's work has
MAMERTO PAGLINAWAN, defendant-appellee. been reproduced without the consent of the owner, even
though it be only to annotate, add something to it, or
Perfecto Gabriel for appellant. improve any edition thereof.
Felix Ferrer and Crossfield and O'Brien for appellee.
Upon making a careful and minute comparison of Exhibit A,
ARAULLO, J.: the dictionary written and published by the plaintiff, and
Exhibit B, written and published by the defendant, and,
taking into account the memorandum (fols. 55 to 59)
In the complaint presented in the Court of First Instance of presented by the defendant, in which he enumerates the
the City of Manila on February 20, 1915, it was alleged: (1) words and terms which, according to him, are in his
That the plaintiff was, according to the laws regulating dictionary but not in that of that of the plaintiff, and
literary properties, the registered owner and author of a viceversa, and the equivalents or definitions given by the
literary work entitled Diccionario Hispano- plaintiff, as well as the new Tagalog words which are in the
Tagalog (Spanish-Tagalog Dictionary) published in the City dictionary of the defendant but not in that of the plaintiff;
of Manila in 1889 by the printing establishment La Opinion, and considering the notes, Exhibit C, first series, presented
and a copy of which was attached to the complaint, as by the plaintiff, in which the terms copied by the defendant
Exhibit A; (2) that the defendant, without the consent of the from the plaintiff's dictionary are enumerated in detail and in
plaintiff, reproduced said literary work, improperly copied relation to each letter of the alphabet and which the
the greater part thereof in the work published by him and plaintiff's own words and terms are set forth, with a
entitled Diccionariong Kastila-Tagalog (Spanish-Tagalog summary, at the foot of each group of letters, which shows
Dictionary), a copy of which was also attached to the the number of initial Spanish words contained in the
complaint as Exhibit B; (3) that said act of the defendant, defendant's dictionary, the words that are his own and the
which is a violation of article 7 of the Law of January 10, fact that the remaining ones are truly copied from the
1879, on Intellectual Property, caused irreparable injuries to plaintiff's dictionary — considering all of these facts, we
the plaintiff, who was surprised when, on publishing his come to a conclusion completely different and contrary to
new work entitled Diccionario Tagalog-Hispano (Tagalog- that of the trial court, for said evidence clearly shows:
Spanish Dictionary) he learned of the fact, and (4) that the
damages occasioned to the plaintiff by the publication of
defendant's work amounted to $10,000. The plaintiff 1. That, of the Spanish words in the defendant's dictionary,
therefore prayed the court to order the defendant to Exhibit B, which correspond to each letter of the alphabet,
withdraw from sale all stock of the work herein identified as those that are enumerated below have been copied and
Exhibit B and to pay the plaintiff the sum of $10,000, with reproduced from the plaintiff's dictionary, with the exception
costs. of those that are stated to be defendant's own.

The defendant in his answer denied generally each and
every allegation of the complaint and prayed the court to Letter Words Defendant's own
absolve him from the complaint. After trial and the
introduction of evidence by both parties, the court on "A" 1,184 231
August 20, 1915, rendered judgment, absolving the
defendant from the complaint, but without making any
special pronouncement as to costs. The plaintiff moved for "B" 364 28
a new trial on the ground that the judgment was against the
law and the weight of the evidence. Said motion having "C" 660 261
been overruled, plaintiff excepted to the order overruling it,
and appealed the case to the Supreme Court upon a bill of
exceptions. "CH" 76 10

The ground of the decision appealed from is that a "D" 874 231
comparison of the plaintiff's dictionary with that of the
defendant does not show that the latter is an improper copy
of the former, which has been published and offered for "E" 880 301
sale by the plaintiff for about twenty-five years or more. For
this reason the court held that the plaintiff had no right of "F" 383 152
action and that the remedy sought by him could not be
"G" 302 111
The appellant contends that court below erred in not
declaring that the defendant had reproduced the plaintiff's "H" 57 64
work and that the defendant had violated article 7 of the
Law of January 10, 1879, on Intellectual Property.

Exhibit C.560 3. This does not show that there was no reproduction or copying by the defendant of the plaintiffs work. in Tagalog sa — it must "R" 847 be noted140 that the defendant. on Intellectual Property. especially in relation to the 20.452 words.108others. or. or what is the same thing. as memorandum to each word. after deducting 17 words corresponding to the defendant has come to this pasture ground and letters K and X (for the plaintiff has no words corresponding taken whatever he needed from it in the exercise to them). 1st for the Spanish words in his dictionary. the defendant has added only this number of words to those that are in the plaintiff's dictionary. as follows: ______ _____ Dictionaries have to be made with the aid of 23. by comparing both dictionaries not the property of anybody. because said comparison was not complete. although as to some he made some The protection of the law cannot be denied to additions of his own. given in article 7 of said law: plaintiff's dictionary. and in the example referred to. some words from said dictionaries in making the comparison on which its "N" 259 conclusion53is based. "LL" 36 2 The trial court has chosen at random. the equivalents. are not copied from the plaintiff's — the judgment referring to the preposition a (to). That the defendant also literally reproduced and copied in his work entitled La Propiedad Intelectual (page 362. of the 23.108 words are the defendant's own. that dissimilarity as to the province designated seems to "X" 6 6 effect the same purpose. "U" 107 for he who 15intends to imitate the work of another. in preparing his dictionary. what is the same thing. everything that appears in the plaintiff's dictionary for similar Spanish words. that it should be common property for all who may Therefore. according to the judgment. Danvilla y Collado the author of the Law of January 10.560 Spanish words in the defendant's desire to write a new dictionary. their definitions. as to some of them. the . and they are improved by the increase of words. "K" 11 3. as is stated in the "M" 994 judgment 225 appealed from. 1879. Law of Intellectual Property. 2. with respect to the preposition a (to). Said copies and reproductions are the author of a dictionary. literally copied those Spanish words and their meanings and equivalents in Tagalog from the plaintiff's dictionary. which is the defendant's own production. only 3. of a perfect right. that one "T" 591 speaks of 147Bulacan while the other speaks of Tayabas. having reproduced. as the plaintiff does in his dictionary. ed. with the exception. e. but just the opposite. uses the expression "S" 746 "voy a Tayabas" 118 (I am going to Tayabas) instead of "voy aBulacan" (I am going to Bulacan). And with respect to the examples used by the "Q" 84 defendant11 in his dictionary. he having reproduced or copied the remaining Such idea is very erroneous.. for although words are numerous as may be seen. in which. and using as a guide or index the defendant's "I" 814 328 and notes. which. That the11printer's errors in the plaintiff's dictionary as to the expression of some words in Spanish as well as their equivalents in Tagalog are also reproduced. first series. i. as to some words. and the dictionary. "P" 803 358 of only one acceptation. What may be said of a pasture ground may be said also of a dictionary. the court gives one to understand that the reproduction of another's dictionary without the owner's consent does not constitute a violation "Z" 73 17 of the Law of Intellectual Property for the court's idea of a dictionary is stated in the decision itself. a fact which "L" 502 shows that 94the defendant. which was discussed and approved in the Spanish Cortes.) states with respect to dictionaries and in relation to definitions and different meanings in Tagalog. "Y" 24 4 In the judgment appealed from. the equivalents and meanings of which in Tagalog are exactly the same as those that are given in the plaintiff's dictionary. tries to make it appear in some manner that there is some "V" 342 difference96 between the original and the imitation. "Ñ" 6 2 In said judgment some words of the defendant's dictionary "O" 317 67 are transcribed. in giving in his dictionary an example of said preposition. and consequently the conclusion reached by it must be inaccurate and not well founded. the similarities and differences between them "J" 113 are set forth 25 in detail.

or the fact that the dictionary published by him in 1889 is his artistic work. to produce it. the right of the plaintiff to of his right. protect intellectual property rights vested after the may constitute a special work. published by him and edited in 1889. which is the present case cannot be disputed. 1880. on Intellectual Property. It appears from the evidence that although the plaintiff did perhaps fully realizes all its economic value. and industrial properties acquired by the subject of greater part of the other words contain new Spain in the Island of Cuba and in Puerto Rico and the meanings. these facts constitute granted him is reduced to a very insignificant sufficient proof. the same having been lost invention. which was the prerequisite to the enjoyment of the benefits thereof Indeed the property right recognized and protected by the according to the preceding articles. scientific. which nobody may reproduce another person's work. 1864. new meanings which evidently may Philippines and other ceded territories. 1887. were He who writes a book. on June 15. as Manresa says. of the defendant. presented. after its promulgation or publication. on the was kept in the Central Government of these Islands. reproduce or sell it. has the right to exploit it and dispose thereof property — said property right being recognized and having at will. and his property right thereto. when it explained by mere definitions expressed in a few declared in article 13 thereof that the rights to literary. p. of right of the author. statue or was issued to him in 1890. provided that the artistic. or to improve any edition thereof. according to said rules. cannot after an examination thereof by the permanent committee prevent its reproduction by any person who may of censors. for he could not obtain the full enjoyment of the invoke said law in support of the action instituted by him in book or other work. has the absolute right to dictionary was edited and published in 1889. His property right to recognized by law. with the approval of the Governor- General of the Islands. the author of a work. among which is article Law of January 10. or therefore in force in these Islands when the plaintiff's makes an invention. to print and publish said dictionary. Manresa says the following: the Gaceta de Manila. taken in connection with the conditions which the original requires in order to permission granted him by the Governor-General on give the author the full enjoyment thereof. 1879. 3d ed. 3. not even to annotate or add something to it. statue or the loss of the corresponding records. cannot be denied In addition to what has been said. recognized and sanctioned by said law. It was so held in the Treaty of Paris of December although some of the words therein are 10. the sovereignty of Spain was superseded by that of the United correctional court of the Seine held. and other hand the author of a book. to the work Diccionario Hispano-Tagalog (Spanish-Tagalog an insignificant thing. and the want to reproduce it. shall continue to them. by not introduce at the trial the certificate of registration of his receiving its benefits and utilities. and consequently. And by royal decree of May 5. so doing without his consent. or even to annotate or September 6. 1879. and published in the Gaceta de Madrid on without the consent of his owner. which examination was made. he had acquired a right of which he cannot be deprived merely because the law is not in force now or is of . would be 7. without his permission. But while the owner of land. consists in the right to reproduce it in page of said dictionary the property right of the plaintiff was similar or like copies. under the circumstances of the case. which is alleged in the complaint to have been violated illusory if. yet as in the first invention.) says that the concrete statement of the right to 56 thereof. force as a consequence of the change of sovereignty in these Islands. and which is based on of the Civil Code. for example. could not prevent another person from Even considering that said Law of January 10. On this point. 1879. This law was published in the Gaceta de Madrid on according to article 7 of said law. and could not enforce this ceased to operate in these Islands. and no trace relative to advantages of his own property by disposing of the issuance of said certificate being obtainable in the it. as provided in article 633. It was so held superseded by that of the United 16. 1880 and extended to the Philippine Islands add something to it or to improve any edition thereof. January 10. by reason of the fact that said law is no longer in by the defendant. which are property rights to said work which. then the property right necessary license granted to him. 1887. by the price. the author of a literary. 1898. nobody may reproduce it. example that explain their sense. It took effect in these Islands six months commentaries on article 429 of the Civil Code (vol. and by virtue thereof. This conclusion is necessary to manner of expressing their different meanings. In relation to this right. is that of selling his work. lines and sanctioned by usage. the plaintiff. between Spain and the United States. be respect. on August States. that a dictionary constitutes property. 1879. The body of rules for the execution of said law literary properties is found in the legal doctrine according to having been approved by royal decree of September 3. Therefore. States. showing that said plaintiff did not comply with the requirements of article 36 of said law. everyone of which serves reserved by means of the words "Es propiedad del autor" to give to the person reproducing them all the (All rights reserved). upon the termination of right through the courts of justice in order to prosecute the Spanish sovereignty and the substitution thereof by that of violator of this legal provision and the defrauder or usurper the United States of America. at the time of the only belonged to the first person who published exchange of the ratification of said Treaty. as thing and the effort made in the production of the they have not been overcome by any evidence on the part book is no way rewarded. there exists the exclusive been granted by article 7. in connection with article 2. author of a book. just as the owner of land has the absolute right to sell it or its fruits. for the most important form of realizing the Division of Archives of the Executive Bureau on account of economic advantages of a book. after its publication. by selling it and its fruits. Manresa. and the no actual application. 1889. who has the exclusive right to reproduce it. according to article 2 of the Law of reproduced by the defendant without his permission. If the November 24. if he should have no more right than Dictionary). would be reduced. Said law of January 10. or carves a statue. does not reap all the benefits and during the revolution against Spain. who is the absolute owner of his own said law — and on the further fact that said work was work. and the rules for its application. Pedro Serrano. it was in turn published in on page 616 of said volume. 1879. according to article 428 the legal protection which he seeks. in his January 12.

not for a permanent injunction against the defendant. all stock of his work above-mentioned. published and edited in the City of Manila in 1889. of which Exhibit B is a copy.The reproduction by the defendant without the plaintiff's consent of the Diccionario Hispano-Tagalog (Spanish- Tagalog Dictionary). by the publication of the Diccionariong Kastila-Tagalog (Spanish-Tagalog Dictionary). as the plaintiff himself in his brief erroneously states. we reverse the judgment appealed from and order the defendant to withdraw from sale. and to pay the costs of first instance. which is attached to the complaint. according to the latter. and the suit instituted by said plaintiff being proper. but the amount thereof has not been determined at the trial. for which reason no pronouncement can be made in this decision as to the indemnification for damages which the plaintiff seeks to recover. The plaintiff having prayed. published in the same city and edited in the press El Progreso in 1913. as appears from Exhibit B. .000. We make no special pronouncement as to the costs of this instance. So ordered. It is true that it cannot be denied that the reproduction of the plaintiff's book by the defendant has caused damages to the former. but for a judgment ordering the defendant to withdraw from sale all stock of his work Diccionariong Kastila-Tagalog (Spanish-Tagalog Dictionary). as prayed for in the complaint. for the statement of the plaintiff as to the proceeds he would have realized if he had printed in 1913 the number of copies of his work which he stated in his declaration — a fact which he did not do because the defendant had reproduced it — was not corroborated in any way at the trial and is based upon mere calculations made by the plaintiff himself. damages in the sum of $10. has caused the plaintiff.