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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance


Japan - Parallel Imports: Which legal framework? [French version]

18 November 2011

The main channel for importing certain goods, including high quality goods, in Japan is through retailers and other official intermediaries: products are imported by wholesalers, distributors or agents (often the manufacturer's local subsidiary). An alternative route is that of parallel imports, which involves the import and resale of non-counterfeit goods without the manufacturer's consent. These goods are commonly exchanged in the Japanese “grey market” which thrives on price differentiation between countries. Parallel imports raise important questions, in particular, what defenses are available to manufacturers and their authorised distributors?

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