Parallel imports and trademark rights - an exhausting debate

Exhaustion of trademark rights has always been hotly debated in the European Union. This is because allowing mark owners to control the distribution of their products beyond the first introduction on to the market, either by them or with their consent, would be contrary to the fundamental EU principle of free movement of goods. Florian Schwab of Boehmert & Boehmert in Munich retraces the history of the debate and looks at how last year's Van Doren Case set a further milestone by establishing a differentiated rule regarding the onus of proof.

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