European Commission publishes Notice to Stakeholders on EU rules in relation to exhaustion after the transition period

HomeInsightsEuropean Commission publishes Notice to Stakeholders on EU rules in relation to exhaustion after the transition period

The Notice reminds stakeholders that after the end of the transition period EU law providing for the exhaustion of intellectual property rights will no longer apply to the UK.

Currently, under EU law, once goods protected by an IP right have lawfully been put on the market within the EU (i.e. by the rights holder or with his or her consent), the rights conferred by that IP right in relation to the commercial exploitation of the goods become exhausted. Therefore, the right holder can no longer invoke that IP right to prevent the further commercial exploitation of the goods by third parties. After the end of the transition period, the IP right will not be exhausted in the EU if goods protected by that right have been lawfully put on the market in the UK. This means that the right holder, or a person with his or her consent, may oppose the commercial exploitation by third parties of such goods on the EU market insofar as such commercial exploitation would constitute an infringement of the IP right concerned.

EU rules on the civil enforcement of intellectual property rights notably provide that the right holder (or another person so entitled) may take action by issuing proceedings before the relevant judicial authority against persons suspected of infringing a relevant IP right. To read the Notice in full, click here.