What can the past and present tell us about the future of parallel importation? To begin with, it seems clear that the current doctrinal conflicts, gaps, and ambiguities are unlikely to persist for long, particularly if the volume of gray market imports (and thus of gray market litigation) increases with another rise in the value of the dollar.
The persistence of the public-private duality in American trademark law does suggest that when an equilibrium is eventually regained, it will include some appreciation for the role of public understanding, even in a nominally territorialist approach. The law, it seems, must begin to reflect the increasingly plain fact that a distinction between domestic and foreign enterprises can be difficult to discern (depending as it does on such often divergent factors as place of incorporation, degrees of foreign ownership, or the nationalities of directors, managers, or workers) and also often of little practical significance. International business concerns have already begun to recognize the decreasing significance of political frontiers in international product design, pricing, promotion, and distribution. 41 While the world will never be a single market for all products, in all countries, for all industries, or for all consumers, it should be clear by now that many products are bought and sold on the basis of international reputations, and this country's trademark laws should reflect that fact.