Date: 20-07-2018 by: Banca IP Law Firm
Nestlé’s Maggi trademark in the world's “billionaire club” and in Vietnam – Part 01
Nestlé is a Swiss FMCG brand, also rated as the world’s largest company in this field as well as in the Top of The Most Admired Brands voted by the prestigious Forbes and Fortune. Its legendary bird nest logo inspired from the image of a mother bird feeding her three fledglings from her beak demonstrates the visual coherence between the founder’s name, Henri Nestlé, and his initial cereal product invented to save a baby. That’s how this pharmacist started up since 15 years ago in order that today his creations could go nationwide by an extensive list of over 2,000 trademarks of products, covering several product categories to meet numorous nutritional needs of global consumers.
Nestlé S.A was founded in 1866, based in Vevey, Switzerland. As one of the world’s largest FMCG company, Nestlé runs a global manufacturing scale at 191 countries with 500 factories and 328.000 employees, and in any country that it enters, it grows well and being broadly welcomed by consumers.
Nestlé firstly established their business in Vietnam in early 1912. For many decades, local consumers familiarized themselved with a number of Nestlé’s products. Then they made their comeback in 1990 and commited to operate long term in Vietnam. They constructed a total of 6 factories manufacturing nutritional products in the sounthern province of Dong Nai with the number of employees hitting 2000 people.
Nestlé is currently the owner of thousands of world’s famous trademarks such as Nescafe, Milo, Nestea, Kitkat, Lavie, Cerelac, Nan,… and many other billion-dollar worth trademarks which are now protected and preserved their intellectual property rights in Vietnam. Of which, Maggi brandname is not a stranger to a lot of Vietnamese consumers as well as family generations since the French colonial time.
The proud history of Maggi also inspired the world admirers just like the story of Nestlé’s founder. The “Maggi” is named after the founder, Julius Michael Johanns Maggi, a mischievous childboy who had not yet finished his 10th grade, but soon showed his aptitude for business in the context of Industrial Revolution in Central Europe late 19th Century.
Since 1935, Maggi brandname had been introduced to three Indochinese countries including Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, sparking as “a dark brown sauce made from high protein ingredients”. Day by day, thanks to its right positioning edge (as a vital source of protein supplementer), Maggi won the local consumer’s hearts during the difficult time of Vietnam history. Since then, Maggi became a common symbol for all kinds of sauce strongly positioned in the Vietnamese consumers’ minds. During the period from 1939 to 1947, sales jumped a record high from 15 tons to 51 tons. The dark brown soy sauce bottled in a special shape design of square round neck can be easily seen on many other Maggi’s product categories such as spice, sauce, oyster sauce, chicken powder, stewed sauce,… Most of them are popularly used by professional chefs as well as many Vietnamese housewives. Recognition of the importance of the brand protection, Maggi proactively filed their trademark registrations through both national and international route. Up until now, Maggi have been granted a national trademark registrations in 156 countries and international registrations in over 50 countries.
Not only being granted registrations, the Maggi trademark of Nestlé is also widely used over 200 countries worldwide. Every year, Maggi recieved many brand awards in Asia such as Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand award (the prestigious magazine Reader’s Digest, the world best selling consumer magazine) from 1999 to 2010 in Singapore and Malaysia for the Spicecategory; Maggi also won Prestigious Brand for the same category in the Phillipines from 2006 till 2010 and also for the Packaged Goods category in Malaysia, Singapore and Hongkong. In 2009, Maggi ranked 35th out of 100 prestigious brands in India according to statistics released by the Economic Times. In 2010, they moved up 17 spots to rank 18th. Maggi was also recognized as the Well-known Brands at many nations such as Switzerlands, Germany, France, EU (27 countries), Bulgaria, Turkey,… Last year, Maggi was voted in the Top of the world’s most chosen food brands in 2 consecutive years according to the global Brand Footprint’s report.
Maggi trademark has been an invaluable intellectual property owned by Nestlé, recognized and protected by the intellectual property laws of all countries where Nestlé is operating, including Vietnam. However, in fact, the better known and stronger a brand is, the more infringements it will face. This challenges any country’s intellectual property enforcement law. Consequently, Nestlé, the only owner of Maggi trademark is also one of the case when they get into troubles in enforcement of Maggi trademark infringement as well as the marks containing “Maggi” letter. For more details, please following us on the next part of these article series.