Exhaustion of IP rights

The consultation on the UK’s future regime for the exhaustion of IP rights has been published.

Now that the UK has left the European Union, there is an opportunity to choose the future regime for the exhaustion of IP rights which will govern future rules on parallel imports into the UK. Given the potential impact across multiple business sectors, the IPO appreciates that any change from the current system that came into force on 1 January 2021 could have far-reaching effects. The IPO is seeking views as to what exhaustion regime should be implemented, and if there is to be a change, how any change should be implemented.

The IPO is looking to better understand how the government may balance the interests of incentivising innovation and development of new products, creative works or technology with the wider interests of competitive markets, consumer choice and fair access to IP-protected goods for the benefit of society. The IPO is aware that this topic is likely to generate much interest given the potential impact of change, and it is of vital importance that the IPO hears from key organisations such as CIPA.

At this stage, the government has no preferred position for the UK’s future exhaustion regime. The IPO wants to ensure that the government can make its decision based on information provided by stakeholders across a wide range of different businesses, trade organisations and civil society or consumer groups. The consultation document, alongside an economic impact assessment are available on www.gov.uk/ipo. The consultation will close on 31 August 2021. Any questions can be sent to [email protected].

Alasdair Poore has agreed to prepare the response on behalf of CIPA. CIPA will shortly be creating a discussion board on the newly updated CIPA website to collate everyone’s views. However, in the meantime, please feel free to send your comments for Alasdair to [email protected].

Date published: 21 July 2021

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