Intellectual property

UK's future regime for exhaustion of IP rights – Law Society response

The proposals

The government sought views on the future regime for the exhaustion of intellectual property (IP) rights, which will underpin our system of parallel trade.

The aim of the consultation was to help the government decide on the best exhaustion regime for the future.

Four options for the future regime were presented:

  • the UK's unilateral application of a regional European Economic Area (EEA) regime, otherwise known as a 'UK+' regime
  • national
  • international
  • mixed

Our view

In our response, we have not advocated for or against any exhaustion regime.

We've limited our responses to questions our members have had direct experiences with, that is:

  • current and historical operation of the exhaustion regime in the UK
  • legal difficulties and questions that exhaustion raises
  • impact of that regime on businesses large and small
  • impact on consumers

What this means for solicitors

It’s important that any change to the law should:

  • clearly set out the consequences of such changes to the exhaustion regime
  • take into account potential additional complexities for businesses
  • correctly address issues arising from the Northern Ireland Protocol

Next steps

The consultation closed on 31 August 2021.

The government will assess responses to the consultation and provide the next steps.

Read the consultation on the GOV.UK website

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