Parallel importation, the selling of trademarked products through unauthorized distribution channels, can erode trademark image, strain channel relationships and disrupt global planning efforts. With the recent changes in federal court precedent and the landmark 1998 L’Anza Supreme Court decision, the legal rights associated with trademarked products in gray markets have forever changed. Therefore, the authors review the current status of regulatory and judicial decisions affecting gray marketing activities to provide a practical framework for marketing managers. Legal and nonlegal suggestions, for the protection of trademarks in gray market competition, are offered.
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