Canon Sues to Halt Sales of Gray Market Products


Last week, Photography Bay was able to obtain an issued release of allegations made by Canon USA toward Get It Digital, LLC, which proposes that the sale of imported Canon products in the American market by this company and other distributors of Gray Market products infringes upon their rights as exclusive licensee in the U.S.

What are "Gray Market" Products?

You may be familiar with the term "Black Market" - where illegally manufactured or stolen good are traded. Gray Market products are not necessarily either. Frequently, Gray Market products are manufactured in-house next to products you purchase from authorized dealers, but were intended for marketplaces outside of the U.S. Companies then buy the outgoing products, and reroute them into the U.S. marketplace.

 So What's The Big Deal?

Unfortunately, when products are not sold to you by authorized dealers, there is no guarantee where the products originated or whether they pass safety requirements for electronic goods. Counterfeit items often look nearly identical to authentic goods, but in operation may cause harm to you or your camera.

Any electronic import that is sold in the "Gray Market" in the U.S. will NOT be verified for manufacturer warranty. Should errors occur due to faulty manufacturing of these products, U.S. Manufacturers will not service Gray Market goods, or be held liable for their performance.

Hazards and Difficulties Associated with "Gray Market" Products

Customers in the U.S. may find that Gray Market Products do not meet their expectations because they were not intended by Canon for sale in the U.S. In some cases, sellers of Gray Market Products may attempt to localize the products themselves by adding, changing or removing certain accessories from the products, which may result in the following:

  • illegal or counterfeit accessories, such as batteries, chargers, and ink tanks, which can cause injury and seriously damage your Canon product;
  • an incorrect power cord or adapter which was not provided, or quality checked, by Canon;
  • incorrect software or illegal copies of software which may not function;
  • poor photocopies of the original manual;
  • a fake Canon U.S. warranty, a warranty provided by a third party, or no warranty at all; and
  • a device with a serial number which cannot be registered with Canon in the U.S.

Customers should also be aware that Gray Market Products may not be eligible for:

  • coverage under a U.S. warranty;
  • U.S. promotions, including mail-in and instant rebates; and
  • technical support
December 2015

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