Many countries worldwide do not have a uniform approach to regulate parallel importing. While some rely on international exhaustion of intellectual property rights, others ban parallel imports of goods if they have not been put on the domestic market either by the right holder himself or any third party with the right holder’s consent. Unsurprisingly, none of the international treaties on intellectual property rights govern the common rules with respect to parallel importation, whereas Article 6 of the TRIPS Agreement clearly states that nothing in the agreement shall be used to address the issue of the exhaustion of intellectual property rights. The present article summarizes the Russian developments on parallel imports provisions in the view of the latest court rulings.
When it comes to Russia, Article 1486 of the Civil Code provides a non-comprehensive list of trademark holders’ exclusive privileges including a right to use a trademark for branding goods imported into the Russian Federation. In conjunction with Article 1487 allowing for exhaustion of the exclusive right, this rule effectively prohibits the importation of non-counterfeit goods, which have not been introduced into the national market by trademark holders or their authorized partners, such as an official distributor or the licensee.

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