New INTA Guide Helps Trademark Owners Prevent Parallel Imports From Entering United States

Published: March 15, 2012

Julia Huston Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Anthony E. Rufo Boston, Massachusetts, USA

The Trademark Owner’s Guide to Parallel Imports in the United States was written by the Parallel Imports Committee’s North America Subcommittee. This how-to guide is intended to help trademark owners and their counsel work directly with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to prevent unauthorized parallel imports from entering the United States.

Parallel imports, also called gray market goods, are branded goods that have been purchased through legal channels abroad and imported for sale into the local market without the trademark owner’s authorization. Parallel imports are often physically and materially different than the authorized branded goods, which can defeat consumers’ expectations and thereby harm the associated trademarks.

The Trademark Owner’s Guide is a valuable resource for large and small trademark owners alike, and contains pragmatic, nuts-and-bolts information that is intended to be useful for practitioners with no prior experience with parallel imports. The authors wish to thank the other members of the primary drafting team, Lauren Fernandez Staley (FOCUS Brands Inc.) and Mark D. Engelmann (Fross, Zelnick, Lehrman & Zissu, P.C.).

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

© 2012 International Trademark Association