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In its efforts to cope with Western sanctions implemented in response of its invasion of Ukraine, Russia launched the parallel imports scheme, allowing the importation of many goods without the consent of their intellectual property right-holder. Such goods are called grey market goods because they have been formulated or packaged for a particular jurisdiction and are imported into a different jurisdiction in contradiction to the brand owner’s intention. The value of parallel imports in Russia may well attain $16 billion by the end of 2022, as reported by Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Manturov. The Russian scheme also protects Russian importers from civil lawsuits by bypassing custom control and official distribution channels. But is this alternative legally justified? What can the West do to counter its effects and to maintain its legitimacy?

This post was originally published on the Cardozo International & Comparative Law Review on November 28, 2022. The original post can be accessed via the Archived Link button above.