Exception of parallel imports in Japan

The parallel import of designated products bearing a registered trademark without any license from the trademark owner would have been deemed to constitute trademark infringement.

However, importation satisfying following the requirements will not constitute trademark infringement.

  1. The trademark on the parallel import goods was duly affixed thereto by the trademark owner in the exporting country or a licensee thereof;
  2. The trademark owners in the exporting country and in Japan are the same party such that the trademark on the parallel import goods is deemed to indicate the same origin of goods as the origin indicated by the registered trademark in Japan; and
  3. The parallel import goods bearing the registered trademark affixed by the trademark owner in Japan are not deemed to substantially differ in the quality guaranteed by the trademark

For more detail, see the Supreme Court in its February 27, 2003 judgment