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  • #1040405
    Jazzah
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    We run an online store selling products that we parallel import. They are fully licensed goods sought from a wholesaler in the US. We ensure they are licensed trademarked goods and not counterfeit.

    At one point we had the Australian licensed distributor threaten legal action. However this resulted in no action being taken, just a letter with a lot of hot air. Consequently I sought legal advice and researched thoroughly.

    In fact the ACCC has a great article on parallel imports, which they support.
    http://www.accc.gov.au/content/item.phtml?itemId=255574&nodeId=ce8c5b47a27218def17c223630418e56&fn=Parallel%20imports%20&%20intellectual%20property%20restraints.pdf

    The issue in supplying these products for us are the following
    1/ quality is significantly better than what the local distributor provides
    2/ customers already buy these products from the US as the quality and range is is vastly improved, we just facilitate this and can offer lower prices due in shipping.
    3/ The Australian distributor undersells to large companies like Big W etc and it is actually cheaper for us to walk down to Big W and purchase rather than from the wholesaler!

    We do buy items from local wholesalers that are comparative in price and quality. This is actually easier for us and if the other items were like that we would buy from here no questions asked.

    The issues about trademarks and exclusive selling rights are between the the distributor and their supplier, not us.

    Trademarks and exclusive selling rights should not be justification to hold a market to ransom, with inflated prices.

    Jazzah

    #1040406
    hydrozole
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    Hi Alll

    Just though I would revive this brilliant thread with a question of my own… Its a similiar issue but with a twist.

    As everybody is aware of the parallel import issue and would know what i am talking about, i did not want to create a new thread altogether…

    I agree with Snow’s case that the question of ethics does not arise in competition which he is trying to promote. He was only interested to know the legal implications of his venture, and a lot of people have given their informative views. The last word would ofcourse be professional legal help.

    What I am trying to do is import brand name clothing in bulk quantities. I happen to know where exactly a particular brand’s (lets call that brand X) clothing is manufactured – it is a factory in India. I also happen to have some very reliable contacts in that factory from where I can source the products at a very cheap rate.

    Now my question is that if I am certain that the clothing is not counterfeit and is actually authentic, can that be imported in Australia, bypassing any distributor or supplier or wholesaler in any country? That brand which I am talking about is a very prominent UK brand and has a presence in about 25 countries but is not here in Australia.

    Would there be any legal implications if I sell those products in Australia? Would the parent company ask for any proof of authenticity? Would it be illegal for me to sell the products here because I bought it off the manufacturer direct? As far as I know, that would be an issue between the parent company and the manufacturer.

    If people in Australia can buy that brand from an overseas website or ebay, can the same people now buy it from me? I dont want to get the parent company involved because they would ofcourse want me to buy it off their distribution network and maximise profits.

    If I buy it from the factory, would it be smart to get a authenticity document from them? So that if the goods turn out to be fake, I would be safe from prosecution and instead they foot the blame for selling me fake goods?

    I would really appreciate any brainstorming or ideas or comments or any advise regarding the issue.

    Thanks heaps…

    #1040407
    jasonm
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    You are missing one crucial thing hydrozole.

    The indian factory that is manufacturing doesn’t own the brand, so if they are manufacturing a product and putting the brand label on the product without authorisation of the brand holder, then it is counterfeit

    As far as I know, that would be an issue between the parent company and the manufacturer.

    Your position in the scam would be akin to receipt of stolen goods.

    I cant understand why people think its OK to rip off other people’s goods or benefit from their hard work.

    If you want to make a load of money off clothing or snowboards or whatever, then invest your time developing products, finding manufacturers and create your own brand.

    #1040408
    19546#deleted
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    Hi All:

    My case is a bit sitting between Snow and Hydrozole.

    We bought leftover products directly from the manufacturer overseas, those leftover products are trademarked and were initially ordered by trademark holder which is an Australia company. Is this legal or illegal?

    Thanks.

    #1040409
    King
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    jeez….guys, it is simple.

    If it is branded then it is probably protected by brand trademarks.
    If it is popular, it is probably protected by agency and licencing agreements.

    Its is simple to check these.

    As power products has said, bite the bullet and develop your own brand. It might be EXACTLY the same product from the SAME factory (check design patents etc) but as already mentioned in this thread, all you have to do is change a few smallish number of things (costs almost nothing I know) and put your own trademarked logo on it and call it your own.

    When you do let us know here so we can all go to the factory and start importing it as well in competition to you. Sounds fair to me….

    As a test, try importing and selling lunch boxes with Disney logos and images on it…then you will discover if in the business world this is considered OK. Or try is with Mountain Designs, or Quicksilver, or….get the idea…

    #1040410
    mineral
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    King, post: 61403 wrote:
    jeez….guys, it is simple.

    If it is branded then it is probably protected by brand trademarks.
    If it is popular, it is probably protected by agency and licencing agreements.

    Its is simple to check these.

    As power products has said, bite the bullet and develop your own brand. It might be EXACTLY the same product from the SAME factory (check design patents etc) but as already mentioned in this thread, all you have to do is change a few smallish number of things (costs almost nothing I know) and put your own trademarked logo on it and call it your own.

    When you do let us know here so we can all go to the factory and start importing it as well in competition to you. Sounds fair to me….

    As a test, try importing and selling lunch boxes with Disney logos and images on it…then you will discover if in the business world this is considered OK. Or try is with Mountain Designs, or Quicksilver, or….get the idea…
    I dont agree with the bolded bit. I am going through this process now, and I have received advice contrary to that.

    #1040411
    King
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    mineral, post: 62653 wrote:
    I dont agree with the bolded bit. I am going through this process now, and I have received advice contrary to that.

    Contrary how??

    If the item is trademarked by logo or design then you must make changes sufficient to not breach the design/trademark aspect.

    #1040412
    bluesky
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    Hi Snow

    I just found this great thread and, given the strength of the dollar at the moment, I’m wondering how your business idea is going. I’ve been importing branded ski wear (and some skis) and had to get my head around parallel importation after receiving a threat from a distributor. This thread has been really helpful and made me feel a lot happier about what I’ve been doing. It’s all fairly small scale – I bought from retailers in the US closeout sales and am selling via a website here at 50% off the RRP – basically I’ve price matched with the US online retailers so it makes it worthwhile for buyers to buy from me instead of paying huge shipping charges to buy from them. Would love to hear an update of how you’re going!

    Thanks

    #1040413
    dangaff
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    jasonm, post: 49867 wrote:
    Mazda 626 / Ford Telstar
    Mazda 323 / Ford Meteor
    Ford Falcon Utility / Nissan UTE
    Toyota Camry / Holden Apollo
    Holden Commodore / Toyota Lexcen

    Nissan GQ – Ford Maverick..
    Exactly the same, different badge.

    All though I think Nissan made the Maverick for ford and re labelled, could be a different story..?

    —-

    I’m also interested in this thread, as I am starting to build up my company.
    one half of my business runs a e-commerce store, that parrallel imports shooting/hunting equipment, along with fishing gear.
    The other half of my business will soon wholesale certain goods that arn’t yet in Australia & un-heard.

    So i can defiantly say I don’t go through the local wholesalers/distributors but i go through the US wholesalers. – I’ve spoke with one wholesaler and they said yes they can’t do anything about it but it’s not a good way to get a good name for yourself..

    —-

    Also, if we have any wholesalers here, could you please send me an example of a exclusive importer/export agreement with the supplier or purchaser?

    I want to get an idea of how to write up the contract & get some sort of template.

    Thanks

    #1040414
    Snow
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    hi there im back. this has been a great thread although its tough to find out the real answers when it comes to parallel importing. funny thing this game as i payed for some legal advice and found my so called expert couldnt answer all my ? . he basically advised me to seek further advice as the laws are a bit confused and one ? could be answered with a yes and the next similar ? a maybee. i walked out of the office with some free advice that was basically useless. i guess this is why most in here say to me get legal advice as they to cant give the answers. im not sure there is any as an impending legal case would be judged on the merits of the case which can vary so much.

    ive had a good think about the ethical side of this venture ant truly believe all you guys going down the why dont you develop your own product line you are way off the mark.
    Reason, lets say burton produces 10,000 custom snowboards out of its factory each year for world distribution. these boards are the same here in AU as in the US. they retail in the US for $500 and in AU for $1000. i import them when on sale and offer them for $750. the profit covers my gst freight and warranty issues.
    the snowboarder that purchases that $750 board may not have purchased a $1000 board and been riding a rival brand.
    Also if there was no room for profit i wouldnt buy the Burton boards from AU as they would never sell at regular retail to my market.
    So in fact Burtons sale of boards will be up as a result of parallel importing.
    This enhances Burtons market share in snowboards.
    Retailers and sales reps have every reason to be squealing, you should be targeting the big boys who are ripping you off with inflated wholesale prices.

    #1040415
    vacshop.com.au
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    Snow, post: 79932 wrote:
    hi there im back. this has been a great thread although its tough to find out the real answers when it comes to parallel importing. funny thing this game as i payed for some legal advice and found my so called expert couldnt answer all my ? . he basically advised me to seek further advice as the laws are a bit confused and one ? could be answered with a yes and the next similar ? a maybee. i walked out of the office with some free advice that was basically useless. i guess this is why most in here say to me get legal advice as they to cant give the answers. im not sure there is any as an impending legal case would be judged on the merits of the case which can vary so much.

    ive had a good think about the ethical side of this venture ant truly believe all you guys going down the why dont you develop your own product line you are way off the mark.
    Reason, lets say burton produces 10,000 custom snowboards out of its factory each year for world distribution. these boards are the same here in AU as in the US. they retail in the US for $500 and in AU for $1000. i import them when on sale and offer them for $750. the profit covers my gst freight and warranty issues.
    the snowboarder that purchases that $750 board may not have purchased a $1000 board and been riding a rival brand.
    Also if there was no room for profit i wouldnt buy the Burton boards from AU as they would never sell at regular retail to my market.
    So in fact Burtons sale of boards will be up as a result of parallel importing.
    This enhances Burtons market share in snowboards.
    Retailers and sales reps have every reason to be squealing, you should be targeting the big boys who are ripping you off with inflated wholesale prices.

    Hey Snow, are you going to be doing onsnow burton demo days, runs full page burton ads in australian skiing/snowboarder magazines, do instore promotions for burton snowboard products, sponsor local australian pro snowboarders????

    are you going to be doing any of these things to promote burton snowboards in australia or just suck off the tit of the brand name Burton??

    are you going to front up the $$ cost to bring 400-500 new burton snowboards in a 40ft container half way around the world??

    #1040416
    Snow
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    vacshop.com.au, post: 79963 wrote:
    Hey Snow, are you going to be doing onsnow burton demo days, runs full page burton ads in australian skiing/snowboarder magazines, do instore promotions for burton snowboard products, sponsor local australian pro snowboarders????

    are you going to be doing any of these things to promote burton snowboards in australia or just suck off the tit of the brand name Burton??

    are you going to front up the $$ cost to bring 400-500 new burton snowboards in a 40ft container half way around the world??

    no i wont be running any ads or demo days, there will be no promotions or sponsorship deals, im going to be running of a brand name at no expense in my opinion to the brand name manufacturer or company owner.
    its a business model that works for me in this market.
    freight will be payed for yes.
    vacshop,
    is this model breaking any laws in your opinion or just unethical ?

    you see mate the powers with the big boys, the mag adverts the in store promos the sponsorship ect ect is still going on overseas yet the wholesale is way down on AU prices.

    theres a solution, within reason a global wholesale price.

    many business will continue to close their doors as the young internet savvy demand better deals

    #1040417
    King
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    Sadly snow you are still missing the point despite it once again being clearly explained….

    I hope if you are selling Burton boards and they have an exclusive import licence that they sue the arse off you.

    Next please import something original, spend 20, 50 or 100,000 on advertising, sponsorships and other market awareness and market creation activities which all must be costed in to the sales price.

    Then tell me what it is so I can contact the USA wholesaler and bring it in and undercut you.

    #1040418
    Snow
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    King, post: 79981 wrote:
    Sadly snow you are still missing the point despite it once again being clearly explained….

    I hope if you are selling Burton boards and they have an exclusive import licence that they sue the arse off you.

    Next please import something original, spend 20, 50 or 100,000 on advertising, sponsorships and other market awareness and market creation activities which all must be costed in to the sales price.

    Then tell me what it is so I can contact the USA wholesaler and bring it in and undercut you.

    King, can Burton or any other brand name do that ? Can you point me in the right direction as to where the law states if you buy an original product from the states then resell it you can have the arse sue’d off you ?

    See the point is King, im not going to set a store up selling $1000.00 snowboards that can be purchased online for half the price delivered from the US.

    I joined this forum to ruffle a few feathers and get some answers. Theres plenty of hot air in here but im looking for more.

    #1040419
    King
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    Snow we have asked the question repeatedly which you have chosen never to answer, and that is if these products have sole distribution rights attached to them. That is the case in point and one that you constantly avoid answering.

    So when you find a hot product, spend the $$$$$ on legals to make you a sole importer, set up all the associated stuff that goes into creating a culture here in Oz for that product, often at significant expense, let me know and I’ll go and undercut you, sent all warranty and associated non-profit stuff your way….

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