As reported previously, the UK government has been consulting on the future regime for exhaustion of intellectual property rights following the UK's departure from the EU.

In an update posted on 18 January 2022, it was indicated that the government has completed an initial analysis of the responses to the consultation, but found that there is not enough data to understand the economic impact of any of the potential alternatives to the current post-Brexit system (the so-called "UK+ regime"). Given the potential of any change to affect a wider variety of business sectors and end consumers, the government has decided to defer making any changes pending further evidence and policy developments.

In summary, the current approach to exhaustion therefore remains as follows:

  • IP rights in goods placed on the market in the UK are not considered exhausted throughout the EEA.
  • IP rights in goods placed on the market in the EEA are considered exhausted in the UK.
  • The situation regarding the import of IP-protected goods from countries outside the EEA differs depending on the IP right in question and further information is given in our briefing.

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