Auto Parts : Is Import Really Liberalized?
25 July 2012 - Défi Media Group
Can consumers really benefit from advantageous prices of parallel imports of spare parts? The question is relevant especially when we know that the import of auto parts is liberalized. The problem is that trade liberalization can not be translated into reality.
The example of car parts for the Nissan brand imported by a parallel importer in 2009 illustrates this situation. The concessionary company of the same brand of cars, had obtained from the Court, an interlocutory judgment prohibiting another company, the Zario Ltd., to market spare parts for the same vehicles.
The other company did not see a good eye on the activities of Zario Ltd, which imported a stock of spare parts for cars of the brand it represents. It therefore initiated an action in Supreme Court for a ban at this second company to market the local market.
The complainant expressed concern that although the parts are genuine, the Zario does not violate the provisions of the Patents, Industrial Design and Trademarks Act (PIDTA) of 2002, as well as its economic rights under the Copyright Act 1997 and the Prevention Against Unfair Practices (Industrial Rights) Act 2002. For the company, the issue is that the imports were made without his consent or his consent, because she is the owner of Trade Mark.
This applies equally to other products. It is impossible to determine if customs only imported parts are authentic. The plot thickens however when he asked the owner of the trade mark or not to confirm the authenticity of a product. This may, according to his whims, come check out the products in question or just play conspicuously absent, thereby restricting competition.
The question that arises is this: the Patents, Industrial Design and Trade Marks Act would it conflict with the Competition Act?