A contractual approach to the gray market
Parallel imports are genuine products imported without the authorization of the trademark or copyright owner in a country. Authorized dealers have employed trademark and copyright law to exclude parallel imports using claims of infringement. Our assertion is that trademark and copyright laws are inappropriate for enforcing restrictions against parallel imports for two reasons. First, trademark exclusion of parallel imports indiscriminately eliminates intrabrand competition and should be scrutinized from an antitrust perspective. Second, trademark laws inefficiently constrain the feasible set of distribution systems. We propose a policy combining contract, tort, and antitrust law to regulate parallel imports.
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