Parallel Imports

Refers to the resale of goods legally sold pursuant to parallel intellectual property rights granted in a first jurisdiction, state or territory in a different, second jurisdiction, state or country, for example original purchases of Levi’s Jeans in the United States for resale in the U.K. The legality of such imports is very complex and depends in part on who sold the goods in the first country of sale and what that vendor’s legal rights were with respect to the IP. Also known as ‘Grey Market’ imports. Grey market imports typically seek to arbitrage price differences between the same goods in the first market and the second, but from time to time they exploit perceived quality differences, for example Mexican Coca-Cola® is perceived by some as superior to US Coke®, because it’s made with cane sugar instead of the high-fructose corn syrup, and has a lower sugar content. The Coca-Cola company responded to this market demand by importing “MexiCoke” itself, selling it in distinctive glass bottles.

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