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Ajinomoto to acquire trademarks from Jacobs Douwe Egberts

Published 02 November 2016

Ajinomoto has entered into an agreement to acquire trademarks from Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE) for JPY 25.9bn (€225m).

The acquisition of trademarks includes those licensed to its unit Ajinomoto General Foods (AGF) such as Blendy and MAXIM.

Ajinomoto had acquired 50% stake in AGF from Mondelez International for JPY 27bn (€234m), following which it is operating as its subsidiary.

But, the rights to the trademarks for AGF products such as Blendy and MAXIM were initially with Mondelez and were later held by JDE. JDE took over the coffee business from Mondelez and AGF was using the trademarks under license.

All the parties have agreed on Ajinomoto’s offer to purchase the trademarks and other rights from JDE.

As per the purchase agreement, all trademarks licensed to AGF by JDE and all trademarks held jointly by AGF and JDE will now be owned by Ajinomoto. For MAXIM, only the trademark in Japan is covered.

The licensed trademarks bought under the agreement include Blendy, MAXIM, TRIPLESSO, Chyotto Zeitakuna Kohiten, Tea Heart, Shin-Chajin and others.

Trademarks jointly held by AGF and JDE include Coffee Gift wa AGF and others.

With this trademark purchase, restrictions in areas such as new product development, brand logos and licensing to other companies are removed. This can enable Ajinomoto to conduct independent brand strategy from now onwards.

AGF has come out with new categories in the coffee market with products such as Blendy Stick taking into consideration customer needs.

In Japan, AGF holds large share in home-use coffee products and is targeting food service and institutional-use business.