Parallel import

importation of genuine products without permission from intellectual property owner

When a company imports a product from abroad, and sells it at home, even though the manufacturer sells the product as well, this is known as parallel import. Such products are real, they are not counterfeit. These imports are legal, but they happen without the permission of the company who sells these products. Very often, they are called grey product.

Parallel importing is done for different reasons:

  1. The product has been adapted to the specific market, and the versions are different.
  2. The price is different. The company who does the parallel import buys the product at a lower price abroad, and will sell it at a price that is higher, but still below the price of the product at home.
  3. Some people are able to obtain a better price, for example by buying abroad, or avoiding taxes. The idea is to give something back to those people who cannot get these benefits.

In the case of drugs, parallel importing may reduce the price of the drug, by introducing competition.

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