Source: Waterfront Solicitors LLP via mondaq.com 31 August 2017
“In good news for brand owners, the UK Supreme Court has decided that the distribution of grey market goods without the consent of the brand owner is a criminal offence.
So called grey market goods, also referred to as parallel imports, are goods which have been manufactured by or with the consent of the brand owner but sold without the brand owner’s consent – in other words, they are authentic products sold by unlicensed resellers. For example, Gucci might manufacture particular styles of watch for sale only in France. If a third party buys these watches and sells them in the UK without Gucci’s consent, the watches will be “grey” goods. They are distinct from counterfeit goods, which are simply fakes.
Brand owners have long been able to enforce their trade mark rights in the civil courts with respect to counterfeit goods and grey market goods. It is also established law that dealing in counterfeit products is a criminal offence.
In the recent case of R v M & Ors  UKSC 58, the Supreme Court was asked to decide whether dealing in grey market goods is also a criminal offence.”