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Title: Parallel Imports and Trademark Law
Authors: Jain, Sneha
Keywords: Parallel imports
Exhaustion of rights
Gray goods
Indian law
Issue Date: Jan-2009
Publisher: CSIR
Abstract: Parallel importation has assumed much importance with the opening up of global markets and effective implementation of price differentials. While exponents of this practice often quote economic benefits that accrue to the ultimate consumers as a result of parallel importation, its critics usually assert monopoly rights of the owner over his products and their disposition. In this context, a study of the avenues available, especially under trademark law, to the owner to protect his rights and the exceptions thereto are imperative. The paper outlines concept of trademark, its territorial application, and principle of exhaustion as a counter measure against stifling effect of trademark territoriality. It identifies parallel importation as a practise that exploits the principle of exhaustion. Discussion on advantages and disadvantages of parallel importation has lead to the conclusion that a via media needs to be adopted to ensure a balance between owner’s right and consumer’s interest. The rules regulating parallel importation in two major jurisdictions, United States and European Union (more aptly the European Economic Area) are discussed followed by the Indian position. Due to the lack of discussion on the topic by jurists or by judiciary, there is ample room for creative arguments from both sides of the debate.
Page(s): 14-27
ISSN: 0971-5544
Source:JIPR Vol.14(1) [January 2009]

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