Parallel import occurs when two suppliers import the same product to a specific market with only one supplier having the intellectual property owner’s consent to import the product. The other supplier typically sells the product at a lower price, which is usually caused by not paying royalties to the intellectual property owner.
From a legal point of view, this is an illicit activity, because only the owner of the intellectual property to the product, typically a trademark or protected design (industrial design), or another entity authorized by the owner has the right to have the product placed on the market.
If the supplier has an exclusive right for a particular market arising from the trademark, industrial design, or other intellectual property that the product carries, only they are entitled to place the product on that market. Should a product be marketed by another supplier, it commits an infringement of intellectual property rights and will typically be required to compensate the eligible supplier for damage, unjust enrichment, and reasonable redress.
Are you sure that the products you sell do not infringe the intellectual property rights of others? For example, do they not have the same design as the protected design or do they bear protected designations?
Are you an intellectual property owner, but your products are being marketed from a source other than you?
Contact us to arrange free consultation on intellectual property and ensure the legal integrity of your product portfolio.