Journal Article

Parallel imports: consent by conduct

Amanda Easey and Rohan Massey

in Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice

Volume 3, issue 10, pages 642-649
Published in print October 2008 | ISSN: 1747-1532
Published online September 2008 | e-ISSN: 1747-1540 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jiplp/jpn149
Parallel imports: consent by conduct

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Legal context

Under the Trade Mark Directive, proprietors of registered trade marks may prevent third parties from importing goods into the European Economic Area under those marks without consent. Recent decisions of Chancery Division of the High Court and the English Court of Appeal have shown that it is possible for a parallel importer to demonstrate that, in the absence of express consent, the trade mark proprietor has given implied consent by their actions to the parallel imports of trade marked goods.

Key points

The grant of implied consent to parallel imports is no longer merely a theoretical possibility. This article reviews the development of English case law on implied consent and the circumstances in which the English courts would be likely to consider that it had been granted.

Practical significance

In light of recent court decisions, this article considers prudent steps which trade mark proprietors may take in order to reduce the risk of implying consent to parallel imports.

Keywords: Proprietors of registered trade marks may prevent third parties from importing, without consent, goods bearing the marks into the EEA. The circumstances under which such consent may be given, according to the guidance of the European Court of Justice, have been a matter for debate.; Recent decisions of the English courts have demonstrated that, in the absence of express consent, a trade mark proprietor may be considered in certain circumstances to have given implied consent to parallel imports of trade marked goods into the EEA.; This article reviews the relevant English case law on implied consent for parallel imports and considers the steps a trade mark proprietor should take in order to avoid being deemed to have given such consent.

Journal Article.  6075 words. 

Subjects: Arbitration ; Intellectual Property Law

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