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What is Parallel Importing?

This is when a UK based trader buys goods bearing trademarks from outside the UK and sells the goods in the UK without the trademark owner’s permission potentially infringing the trademarks.

Parallel importation is an issue for many multinational companies who may sell their goods at different prices depending on the country they are being sold in. 

One exception to this rule is if the goods imported have already been placed on the market in the European Economic Area (EEA) with the trademark owner’s consent. In such a case, which is known as exhaustion, the trademark proprietor cannot object to the importation.  An example of this would be if a trademark owner allows goods to be put on the market in Spain, the trademark proprietor cannot object to a UK trader buying the goods in Spain and then selling them in the UK.

Parallel importers exploit these price differences by buying goods at a lower price in one country and then reselling them at a higher price in a different country. This can lead to prices falling in higher priced territories.

Preventing Parallel Imports

Brand owners who have intellectual property rights such as trademarks, registered and unregistered copyright, patents and registered and unregistered design rights can utilise these to try and prevent parallel imports.  Our specialist solicitors can assist with this.

Another method to try and prevent parallel imports might be to enter into a restricted licence agreement.  These licences have to comply with EU law and the wording of the licence will depend on whether the licence is granted inside or outside the EU.  Again, our specialist IP solicitors can advise on this.  

 

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Our Approach

Intellectual property proceedings such as claims for breach of trademarks, registered and unregistered copyright, patents and registered and unregistered design rights can be technical and complicated and are dealt with by specialist Courts in England and Wales.  At Myerson, we can provide you with swift advice whether you are bringing or defending a claim.

Myerson are members of the Intellectual Property Lawyers Association (IPLA).  The IPLA is an association of approximately 66 law firms who have an established intellectual property department.  The fact we are a member of the IPLA demonstrates that we have extensive and detailed experience in the conduct of IP disputes in the UK.  One of the main objectives of the IPLA is to lobby for improvements to IP law and practice for the benefit of those who hold IP rights.

Myerson are a nationally recognised law firm with a large team of intellectual property solicitors.  Our intellectual property team is ranked by the prestigious Legal 500 law firm directory.  Therefore, you can be assured that you will receive the best quality advice and service offering.

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Our Promise & Core Values

Our Promise

The Myerson Promise - Our Partners, team of lawyers and support staff commit to giving our clients more.

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To always give you clear, jargon-free advice.
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To be completely transparent about our fees from the outset.
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Progress every matter in an efficient and timely matter.

Our Core Values

Our core values are at the centre of everything we do.

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We are always professional but ensure that we are friendly and approachable.
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We are determined and enthusiastic about supporting our clients and our people.
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We willingly take responsibility and can be relied on to be commercial, effective and efficient.

Meet Our Specialists

Home-grown or recruited from national, regional or City firms. Our specialists are experts in their fields and respected by their peers.

Jonathan Hassall

Jonathan Hassall

Jonathan is a Partner in the busy commercial litigation department which is rated “Top Tier” by the Legal 500.

Carla Murray

Carla Murray

Carla is a Partner in our Corporate Commercial department

Vicky Biggs

Vicky Biggs

Vicky is a Senior Solicitor in the busy commercial litigation department, which is rated “top tier” by the Legal 500

Philip Ball

Philip Ball

Philip is a Senior Solicitor in our Corporate Commercial department

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