Manufacturers name cannot be treated as Brand name.

In the recent GST Regime tax @ 5% have been imposed on many food items like Rice, Cereals, Daals, Flour, Besan etc. subject to the condition that they are sold in a unit container under a registered trademark.  In the GST Rate Notifications the definition of ‘Unit container’ and ‘Registered Trademark’ have been given as under:-

“The phrase “unit container” means a package, whether large or small (for example, tin, can, box, jar, bottle, bag, or carton, drum, barrel, or canister) designed to hold a predetermined quantity or number, which is indicated on such package.

 The phrase “registered brand name” means brand name or trade name, that is to say, a name or a mark, such as symbol, monogram, label, signature or invented word or writing which is used in relation to such specified goods for the purpose of indicating, or so as to indicate a connection in the course of trade between such specified goods and some person using such name or mark with or without any indication of the identity of that person, and which is registered under the Trade Marks Act, 1999.

There is a widespread confusion as to whether mentioning manufacturers name only on the bags would amount to affixation of Trade Mark or not and as to whether GST would be payable on such goods.  Mentioning the name of manufacturer on a packaged food product is a legal requirement under Legal Metrology Act, as well as under FSSAI.  Years ago the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Tarai Foods Limited case had held that mere mentioning name of manufacturer, which is otherwise a legal requirement, cannot amount to affixation of brand name.

For text of this Judgment please click the below link.

Tarai Foods Limited

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