July 2015

Zac Alinder and Beatrice Martinet write “Controlling the Grey Market in the U.S. and E.U.” for InsideCounsel


This is the first of a series of articles that will discuss new legal developments and strategies in six specific niche areas of brand protection relating to (1) the grey market, (2) FCPA/Regulatory compliance, (3) criminal enforcement, (4) running investigations, (5) online monitoring, and (6) data breaches. This first article will compare and contrast United States and European legal approaches to addressing brand protection issues caused by grey market goods and related enforcement strategies.


Grey market (also known as parallel imports) are typically defined as the unauthorized importing/exporting of a product from one market or region, originally intended for the sale in another market or region.

The impacts of grey market goods on your company and brand can be far-reaching and significant, including impacts on your revenue and reputation, impacts on your channels and channel partners, impacts on your customers and their perceptions of your brand and other diverse legal and regulatory impacts. As a result, getting a handle on the legal strategies available to help reduce those potential grey market impacts can add significant value for your company and its brand.