Parallel import of VOSS OF NORWAY causes dispute
09. January 08
The luxury bottled water VOSS OF NORWAY, is now available in Norway due to parallel import.
Naturally, Voss of Norway is not happy with the situation, and wants to stop the parallel import.
The bottled water VOSS OF NORWAY (apparently not from the Norwegian town of Voss)
has previously only been seen in the hands of Madonna and her colleagues in show
business. Now, however, it has been made available for “everybody and his brother”.
The convenience store chain in Norway called Deli de Luca is marketing the water
for sale in their shops following parallel import from the US.
Voss of Norway does not wish a reduction of the trademark’s value and has hence
asked for advice from their lawyers.
In reality the discussion is about the distinction between global consumption
of a trademark and regional consumption.
In Norway we follow the rule of global consumption. I.e. if goods with a certain
trademark have been made available to consumers, these goods may be resold, imported,
etc anywhere in the world (globally) by anyone no matter who the trademark holder
is. This will not be considered a trademark infringement.
The provisions of regional consumption are practices e.g. in the European Union.
Hence one may only resell within the EU; one cannot legally import goods with
a certain trademark from the US and resell it without this constituting a trademark
The basis of the Norwegian approach is that one considers the trademark holder
as sufficiently protected through the opportunity of exploiting the trademark
with the first chain of distribution. Furthermore, one seeks to prevent limitation
of trade between the EEA countries which the principle of regional consumption
The difference in approach does in fact cause conflicts as Norway is member of
the EEA but has not chosen the same principle as the EU.
According to the current applicable law, however, Deli de Luca does seem to be
within their rights. We are, however, anxious to learn about the final result!