Currently there is no official concept of “parallel import”. However taking into account a number of normative acts and practice, “parallel import” (sometimes also called “grey import”") is an import that meats all following criteria:
- Original (not fake) goods are imported;
- Products contain intellectual property item, such as item of copyrights, trademark, patented and protected invention or industrial design;
- Goods are imported without direct or indirect consent of the owner.
Presently parallel import is one of the most popular infringements to intellectual property rights in Kazakhstan, as many entrepreneurs carry out uncoordinated importation of original goods from other countries, where these products for different reasons are cheaper than in Kazakhstan.
Such kind of activity is prohibited by the provisions of the Law On Trademarks, as well as the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union.
Negative impacts of parallel import are as follows:
- This product is not intended for the local market and is not adapted to it;
- Together with the parallel import increases import of counterfeit goods;
- The owner cannot develop a product market and create production; consequently investment attractiveness of the market decreases as a whole; and
- Tax revenues to budget are reduced due to the fact that this type of import is often part of the shadow economy.
In general, this kind of infringement can be struggled similarly as with counterfeit goods, however as a first step towards the protection of intellectual property rights is the inclusion of intellectual property item into to the appropriate customs register.
This measure is a direct reason for the customs authorities to suspend the import of goods containing items of intellectual property and report the fact to the owner who at his sole discretion may resolve the release of these goods or prolong the suspension of the release, and will address the court.
Only items of copyrights and related rights, trademarks, service marks and appellations of origin of goods can be included into the customs register. Unfortunately, the inclusion of patent and other items of intellectual property is not provided.We offer following services:
- Inclusion of trademarks, items of copyright and related rights in the customs register;
- Legal activity related to suspension of release of goods, extension of the terms of intellectual property items included into the Customs Register, protection of rights through the courts, law enforcement and administrative bodies.