HomeInsightsIntellectual Property Office consults on the UK’s future regime for exhaustion of IP rights

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Before 2021, goods first put on the market in the UK were able to move freely to and within the EEA and goods put on the market in the EEA could move freely into the UK, the first marketing having exhausted the intellectual property rights in the goods across all Member States. Since 1 January 2021, the UK no longer participates in the EU’s regional exhaustion system and a legal default has come into effect. The consultation considers what the UK’s future exhaustion regime should be, and if there is to be a change, how any potential changes could be implemented.

The IPO says that the question of what the UK’s future exhaustion regime should be is an important one as it underpins the rules on parallel trade of goods into the UK. While parallel importation of goods that have been first sold in other EEA countries is currently permitted, it is right to examine whether these current arrangements best serve the UK’s interests.

Given the potential impact across many business sectors, the IPO says that it appreciates that any change from the current system that came into force on 1 January 2021 could have far-reaching effects. Accordingly, it has launched this consultation.

The IPO is interested in responses from businesses, representative organisations, civil society organisations, legal practitioners and creators of new products, technology or creative works. To access the consultation, click here.