Wrongful Assault on the Trademark System

Thursday, January 1st, 1987 at 12:00 am by Patrick E. Boland
Patrick E. Boland, Wrongful Assault on the Trademark System, 1987 Colum. Bus. L. Rev. 153

The laws that we presently have are proper and would work well if their clear language were followed by the Customs Service and the courts. There is no need to amend the Tariff Act and the Lanham Act to aid grey goods importers and other unfair competitors, but there is a need to clarify, once and for all, that the statutes mean exactly what they say. Such clarification should establish that since United States goodwill is by definition different and independent from foreign goodwill, the sale of grey goods in the United States would confuse or deceive consumers and that a United States trademark owner – without exception – has the right to the protection of his goodwill by the barring by Customs Service under section 526 of the Tariff Act and section 42 of the Lanham Act of parallel imports bearing the United States trademark owner’s trademark and the right to private remedies under both statutes. Such clarifications would be sufficient to ward off the grey goods’ wrongful assault on the trademark system.

Author Information

The author is Trademark Counsel of Charles of the Ritz Group Ltd.