Parallel imports and the Japan Fair Trade Commission

David Flath & Tatsuhiko Nariu
We review the facts pertaining to some recent antimonopoly cases in Japan involving interference with unauthorized imports, so-called parallel imports, and propose economic explanations for the behavior of the foreign manufacturers in these cases. The intellectual property law of Japan provides a mechanism for private obstruction of parallel imports but under the antimonopoly law of Japan as implemented by the Japan Fair Trade Commission such obstruction is per se illegal. To the extent that price...
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