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Rise of Brand Theory from Trademark in the realm of
Maggi’s Dismissal as a Brand,
FSSAI Compliance, Celebrity endorsement  & More


This infographic based on a paper published at Thomas Jefferson school of Law Research by Deven R Desai titled  ‘ from Trademark to Brands’ , it shows how brands are different from Trademark, Brands are more dominant which is a Rich symbol feeds Ambitious business strategy, trademark is a simple symbol which is identifying the specific product. As the economy evolved the Business word moved from using trademark to Brands. As Brands also governed by the Trademark Law, so today law is managing brands not trademark, Brands are versatile, multi jurisdictional. Unlike trademark, a brand consisting stakeholders- Corporation, Consumers and Communities therefore trademark can be true resources for all of them rather than a vessel’s for only one side’s view. So Trademark Law is not only for governing trademarks or granting license to new trademark,  but a potential hub for providing smart decision making information about brand culture.

An apple logo on a lower range product leads buyers believe that they are paying for the same value offered by the original producers of Apple. So companies don’t authorise merchandising of brands which are not carrying the same value or having the same personality of the original producers. Say for example of Amitava Bachchan and Madhuri Dixit’s endorsement of Maggi, now Maggi is Banned due to incontravention with Food Safety and Standard Authority of India. Here Both actors are brand, having a distinctive personality and also charisma of promoting another brand therefore their involvement with Maggi promotes the message ‘Maggi is Safe for Consumers’ and consumers are receiving misleading information which is not true due to Neatle India and Maggi’s exposer to FSSAI Three major violations.

viz. (a) presence of Lead detected in the product in excess of the maximum permissible levels of 2.5 ppm,

(b) misleading labelling information on the package reading “No added MSG”, and 

(c) release of a non-standardised food product in the market, viz. “Maggi Oats Masala Noodles with Tastemaker” without risk assessment and grant of product approval. 


Therefore, both Amitava Bachchan and   Madhuri Dixit could not bypass their obligation, as two sections of Food Safety Act — Section 24 and Section 53 — in the 2006 Act deal specifically with advertisements.

Section 24 (1) says in general terms that “no advertisement shall be made of any food which is misleading or deceiving or contravenes the provisions of this Act, the rules and regulations made there under.” 

In the latter case, a brand ambassador does play a part.

Sub-section (2) of the same section says ”

(1) No advertisement shall be made of any food which is misleading or deceiving or contravenes the provisions of this Act, the rules and regulations made thereunder. 

(2) No person shall engage himself in any unfair trade practice for purpose of promoting the sale, supply, use and consumption of articles of food or adopt any unfair or deceptive practice including the practice of making any statement, whether orally or in writing or by visible representation which – 

(a) falsely represents that the foods are of a particular standard, quality, quantity or grade-composition;

 (b) makes a false or misleading representation concerning the need for, or the usefulness;

(c) gives to the public any guarantee of the efficacy that is not based on an adequate or scientific justification thereof. ”

Clauses (a) (b) and (c) of Sub-section (2) holds this “person” legally responsible for falsely representing the standard and quality of the food product, its need and usefulness and also for giving the public “any guarantee of the efficacy that is not based on an adequate or scientific justification.


So after analyzing the above mention recent Brand disaster we may assume how important a Brand value is and how the Brand can be affected badly if it’s not carrying forward the same brand Value.

Taken further, ‘a consumer may use a brand to express herself, a brand is a symbol not for the producer but for the consumers’.      

Trademark law is based upon the doctrine of ‘Goodwill’ so courts around the globe held that one could not assign the mark without goodwill, because to allow assignment without goodwill would permit one company to use the mark but change the product, and this practice would disrupt the public’s ability to rely on the mark as a conveyor of information about a certain product, so here trademark law is not just protecting the ‘Mark’ but conveying specific Information about the product so this an example of Trademark law and how it can inject information to the potential buyer in information marketplace. Other doctrines such as anonymous source, confusion, trade dress, family or house marks, merchandising rights, assignment in gross, initial interest and post-sale confusion, and dilution vindicate business interests in controlling brands while shirking the responsibility to manage the full range of consumer and community interests.

So in order to conclude if we see Trademark from brand prospective and trademark law as a source of information for community driven business practice then it will be easier to make smart decision and avoiding pitfalls in regulatory affairs, one of those which had already made by Amitava Bachchan and Madhuri Dixit and now they paying for becoming Brand ambassador of  Maggi. 

Ashrujit Basu 
Founder & IP Attorney 
ALM Group

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