IP case law Court of Justice

Exhaustion of the rights conferred by a trade mark

1. The trade mark shall not entitle the proprietor to prohibit its use in relation to goods which have been put on the market in the Community under that trade mark by the proprietor or with his consent.
2. Paragraph 1 shall not apply where there exist legitimate reasons for the proprietor to oppose further commercialisation of the goods, especially where the condition of the goods is changed or impaired after they have been put on the market.
(Article 13 CTM Regulation and Article 7 Directive 2008/95)

27 preliminary rulings

Judgment of 17 May 2018, C-642/16 (Junek Europ-Vertrieb)

Article 13(2) of Council Regulation (EC) No 207/2009 of 26 February 2009 on the European Union trade mark must be interpreted as meaning that the proprietor of a mark cannot oppose the further commercialisation, by a parallel importer, of a medical device in its original internal and external packaging where an additional label, such as that at issue in the case in the main proceedings, has been added by the importer, which, by its content, function, size, presentation and placement, does not give rise to a risk to the guarantee of origin of the medical device bearing the mark.

Judgment of 20 Dec 2017, C-291/16 (Schweppes)

Article 7(1) of Directive 2008/95/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2008 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks, read in the light of Article 36 TFEU, must be interpreted as precluding the proprietor of a national trade mark from opposing the import of identical goods bearing the same mark originating in another Member State in which that mark, which initially belonged to that proprietor, is now owned by a third party which has acquired the rights thereto by assignment, when, following that assignment,
–   the proprietor, either acting alone or maintaining its coordinated trade mark strategy with that third party, has actively and deliberately continued to promote the appearance or image of a single global trade mark, thereby generating or increasing confusion on the part of the public concerned as to the commercial origin of goods bearing that mark, or
–   there exist economic links between the proprietor and that third party, inasmuch as they coordinate their commercial policies or reach an agreement in order to exercise joint control over the use of the trade mark, so that it is possible for them to determine, directly or indirectly, the goods to which the trade mark is affixed and to control the quality of those goods.

Judgment of 10 Nov 2016, C-297/15 (Ferring Lægemidler)

Article 7(2) of Directive 2008/95/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2008 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks must be interpreted as meaning that a trade mark proprietor may object to the continued marketing of a medicinal product by a parallel importer, where that importer has repackaged that medicinal product in a new, outer packaging and reaffixed the trade mark, where, first, the medicinal product at issue can be marketed in the importing State party to the EEA Agreement, of 2 May 1992, in the same packaging as that in which it is marketed in the exporting State party to the EEA Agreement and, second, the importer has not demonstrated that the imported product can only be marketed in a limited part of the importing State’s market, and those are matters which it is for the referring court to determine.

Judgment of 28 Jul 2011, C-400/09 (Orifarm)

Article 7(2) of First Council Directive 89/104/EEC of 21 December 1988 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks must be interpreted as not allowing the proprietor of a trade mark relating to a pharmaceutical product which is the subject of parallel imports to oppose the further marketing of that product in repackaged form on the sole ground that the new packaging indicates as the repackager not the undertaking which, on instructions, actually repackaged the product and holds an authorisation to do so, but the undertaking which holds the marketing authorisation for the product, on whose instructions the repackaging was carried out, and which assumes liability for the repackaging.

Judgment of 14 Jul 2011, C-46/10 (Viking Gas)

Articles 5 and 7 of First Council Directive 89/104/EEC of 21 December 1988 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks must be interpreted as meaning that the holder of an exclusive licence for the use of composite gas bottles intended for re-use, the shape of which is protected as a three-dimensional mark and to which the holder has affixed its own name and logo that are registered as word and figurative marks, may not prevent those bottles, after consumers have purchased them and consumed the gas initially contained in them, from being exchanged by a third party, on payment, for composite bottles filled with gas which does not come from the holder of that licence, unless that holder is able to rely on a proper reason for the purposes of Article 7(2) of Directive 89/104.

Judgment of 12 Jul 2011, C-324/09 (L’Oréal)

Where the proprietor of a trade mark supplies to its authorised distributors items bearing that mark, intended for demonstration to consumers in authorised retail outlets, and bottles bearing the mark from which small quantities can be taken for supply to consumers as free samples, those goods, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, are not put on the market within the meaning of Directive 89/104 and Regulation No 40/94.

Article 5 of Directive 89/104 and Article 9 of Regulation No 40/94 must be interpreted as meaning that the proprietor of a trade mark may, by virtue of the exclusive right conferred by the mark, oppose the resale of goods such as those at issue in the main proceedings, on the ground that the person reselling the goods has removed their packaging, where the consequence of that removal is that essential information, such as information relating to the identity of the manufacturer or the person responsible for marketing the cosmetic product, is missing. Where the removal of the packaging has not resulted in the absence of that information, the trade mark proprietor may nevertheless oppose the resale of an unboxed perfume or cosmetic product bearing his trade mark, if he establishes that the removal of the packaging has damaged the image of the product and, hence, the reputation of the trade mark.

Order of 28 Oct 2010, C-449/09 (Canon / IPN)

Article 5 of First Council Directive 89/104/EEC of 21 December 1988 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks must be interpreted as meaning that the proprietor of a trade mark may prevent original goods bearing that mark from being put on the market in the European Economic Area for the first time without his consent.

Judgment of 8 Jul 2010, C-558/08 (Portakabin)

Article 7 of Directive 89/104, as amended by the Agreement on the European Economic Area of 2 May 1992, must be interpreted as meaning that a trade mark proprietor is not entitled to prohibit an advertiser from advertising

Judgment of 3 Jun 2010, C-127/09 (Coty Prestige)

In circumstances such as those of the main proceedings, Article 13(1) of Council Regulation (EC) No 40/94 of 20 December 1993 on the Community trade mark and Article 7(1) of First Council Directive 89/104/EEC of 21 December 1988 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks, as amended by the Agreement on the European Economic Area of 2 May 1992, are to be interpreted as meaning that the rights conferred by the trade mark are exhausted only if, according to an assessment which it is for the national court to make, it may be concluded that the proprietor of the mark expressly or impliedly consented to a putting on the market, either in the European Community or in the European Economic Area, of the goods in respect of which that exhaustion is claimed to exist. In circumstances such as those of the main proceedings, where ‘perfume testers’ are made available, without transfer of ownership and with a prohibition on sale, to intermediaries who are contractually bound to the trade mark proprietor for the purpose of allowing their customers to test the contents, where the trade mark proprietor may at any time recall those goods and where the presentation of the goods is clearly distinguishable from that of the bottles of perfume normally made available to the intermediaries by the trade mark proprietor, the fact that those testers are bottles of perfume which bear not only the word ‘Demonstration’ but also the statement ‘Not for Sale’ precludes, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, which it is for the national court to assess, a finding that the trade mark proprietor impliedly consented to putting them on the market.

Judgment of 15 Oct 2009, C-324/08 (Makro)

Article 7(1) of First Council Directive 89/104/EEC of 21 December 1988 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks, as amended by the Agreement on the European Economic Area of 2 May 1992, must be interpreted as meaning that the consent of the proprietor of a trade mark to the marketing of goods bearing that mark carried out directly in the European Economic Area by a third party who has no economic link to that proprietor may be implied, in so far as such consent is to be inferred from facts and circumstances prior to, simultaneous with or subsequent to the placing of the goods on the market in that area which, in the view of the national court, unequivocally demonstrate that the proprietor has renounced his exclusive rights.

Judgment of 23 Apr 2009, C-59/08 (Copad)

Article 8(2) of First Council Directive 89/104/EEC of 21 December 1988 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks, as amended by the Agreement on the European Economic Area of 2 May 1992, is to be interpreted as meaning that the proprietor of a trade mark can invoke the rights conferred by that trade mark against a licensee who contravenes a provision in a licence agreement prohibiting, on grounds of the trade mark’s prestige, sales to discount stores of goods such as the ones at issue in the main proceedings, provided it has been established that that contravention, by reason of the situation prevailing in the case in the main proceedings, damages the allure and prestigious image which bestows on those goods an aura of luxury.

Article 7(1) of Directive 89/104, as amended by the Agreement on the European Economic Area, is to be interpreted as meaning that a licensee who puts goods bearing a trade mark on the market in disregard of a provision in a licence agreement does so without the consent of the proprietor of the trade mark where it is established that the provision in question is included in those listed in Article 8(2) of that Directive.

Judgment of 22 Dec 2008, C-276/05 (The Wellcome Foundation)

Article 7(2) of Council Directive 89/104/EEC of 21 December 1988 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks, as amended by the Agreement on the European Economic Area of 2 May 1992, is to be interpreted as meaning that, where it is established that repackaging of the pharmaceutical product is necessary for further marketing in the Member State of importation, the presentation of the packaging should be assessed only against the condition that it should not be such as to be liable to damage the reputation of the trade mark or that of its proprietor.

Article 7(2) of Directive 89/104, as amended by the Agreement on the European Economic Area of 2 May 1992, is to be interpreted as meaning that it is for the parallel importer to furnish to the proprietor of the trade mark the information which is necessary and sufficient to enable the latter to determine whether the repackaging of the product under that trade mark is necessary in order to market it in the Member State of importation.

Judgment of 26 Apr 2007, C-348/04 (Boehringer Ingelheim)

Article 7(2) of the First Council Directive 89/104/EEC of 21 December 1988 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks, as amended by the Agreement on the European Economic Area of 2 May 1992, is to be interpreted as meaning that the trade mark owner may legitimately oppose further commercialisation of a pharmaceutical product imported from another Member State in its original internal and external packaging with an additional external label applied by the importer, unless – it is established that reliance on trade mark rights by the proprietor in order to oppose the marketing of the overstickered product under that trade mark would contribute to the artificial partitioning of the markets between Member States; – it is shown that the new label cannot affect the original condition of the product inside the packaging; – the packaging clearly states who overstickered the product and the name of the manufacturer; – the presentation of the overstickered product is not such as to be liable to damage the reputation of the trade mark and of its proprietor; thus, the label must not be defective, of poor quality, or untidy; and – the importer gives notice to the trade mark proprietor before the overstickered product is put on sale, and, on demand, supplies him with a specimen of that product.

The condition that the repackaging of the pharmaceutical product, either by reboxing the product and re-applying the trade mark or by applying a label to the packaging containing the product, be necessary for its further commercialisation in the importing Member State, as one of the conditions which, if fulfilled, prevent the proprietor under Article 7(2) of Directive 89/104, as amended by the Agreement on the European Economic Area, from opposing such commercialisation, is directed solely at the fact of repackaging and not at the manner and style of the repackaging.

The condition that the presentation of the pharmaceutical product must not be such as to be liable to damage the reputation of the trade mark and of its proprietor – as a necessary condition for preventing the proprietor, pursuant to Article 7(2) of Directive 89/104, as amended by the Agreement on the European Economic Area, from legitimately opposing further commercialisation of a pharmaceutical product where the parallel importer has either reboxed the product and re-applied the trade mark or applied a label to the packaging containing the product – is not limited to cases where the repackaging is defective, of poor quality, or untidy.

The question whether the fact that a parallel importer: – fails to affix the trade mark to the new exterior carton (‘de-branding’), or – applies either his own logo or house-style or get-up or a get-up used for a number of different products (‘co-branding’), or – positions the additional label so as wholly or partially to obscure the proprietor’s trade mark, or – fails to state on the additional label that the trade mark in question belongs to the proprietor, or – prints the name of the parallel importer in capital letters, is liable to damage the trade mark’s reputation is a question of fact for the national court to decide in the light of the circumstances of each case.

In situations such as those in the main proceedings, it is for the parallel importers to prove the existence of the conditions that – reliance on trade mark rights by the proprietor in order to oppose the marketing of repackaged products under that trade mark would contribute to the artificial partitioning of the markets between Member States; – the repackaging cannot affect the original condition of the product inside the packaging; – the new packaging clearly states who repackaged the product and the name of the manufacturer; – the presentation of the repackaged product is not such as to be liable to damage the reputation of the trade mark and of its proprietor; thus, the repackaging must not be defective, of poor quality, or untidy; and – the importer must give notice to the trade mark proprietor before the repackaged product is put on sale and, on demand, supply him with a specimen of the repackaged product, and which, if fulfilled, would prevent the proprietor from lawfully opposing the further commercialisation of a repackaged pharmaceutical product. As regards the condition that it must be shown that the repackaging cannot affect the original condition of the product inside the packaging, it is sufficient, however, that the parallel importer furnishes evidence that leads to the reasonable presumption that that condition has been fulfilled. This applies a fortiori also to the condition that the presentation of the repackaged product must not be such as to be liable to damage the reputation of the trade mark and of its proprietor. Where the importer furnishes such initial evidence that the latter condition has been fulfilled, it will then be for the proprietor of the trade mark, who is best placed to assess whether the repackaging is liable to damage his reputation and that of the trade mark, to prove that they have been damaged.

Where a parallel importer has failed to give prior notice to the trade mark proprietor concerning a repackaged pharmaceutical product, he infringes that proprietor’s rights on the occasion of any subsequent importation of that product, so long as he has not given the proprietor such notice. The sanction for that infringement must be not only proportionate, but also sufficiently effective and a sufficient deterrent to ensure that Directive 89/104, as amended by the Agreement on the European Economic Area, is fully effective. A national measure under which, in the case of such an infringement, the trade mark proprietor is entitled to claim financial remedies on the same basis as if the goods had been spurious, is not in itself contrary to the principle of proportionality. It is for the national court, however, to determine the amount of the financial remedies according to the circumstances of each case, in the light in particular of the extent of damage to the trade mark proprietor caused by the parallel importer’s infringement and in accordance with the principle of proportionality.

Judgment of 18 Oct 2005, C-405/03 (Class International)

Article 5(1) and (3)(c) of First Council Directive 89/104/EEC of 21 December 1988 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks and Article 9(1) and (2)(c) of Council Regulation (EC) No 40/94 of 20 December 1993 on the Community trade mark must be interpreted as meaning that a trade mark proprietor cannot oppose the mere entry into the Community, under the external transit procedure or the customs warehousing procedure, of original goods bearing that mark which had not already been put on the market in the Community previously by that proprietor or with his consent. The trade mark proprietor cannot make the placing of the goods at issue under the external transit procedure or the customs warehousing procedure conditional on the existence, at the time of the introduction of those goods into the Community, of a final destination already specified in a third country, possibly pursuant to a sale agreement.

‘Offering’ and ‘putting on the market’ the goods, within the meaning of Article 5(3)(b) of Directive 89/104 and Article 9(2)(b) of Regulation No 40/94, may include, respectively, the offering and sale of original goods bearing a trade mark and having the customs status of non-Community goods, when the offering is done and/or the sale is effected while the goods are placed under the external transit procedure or the customs warehousing procedure. The trade mark proprietor may oppose the offering or the sale of such goods when it necessarily entails the putting of those goods on the market in the Community.

In a situation such as the one at issue in the main proceedings, it is for the trade mark proprietor to prove the facts which would give grounds for exercising the right of prohibition provided for in Article 5(3)(b) and (c) of Directive 89/104 and Article 9(2)(b) and (c) of Regulation No 40/94, by proving either release for free circulation of the non-Community goods bearing his mark or an offering or sale of the goods which necessarily entails their being put on the market in the Community.

Judgment of 30 Nov 2004, C-16/03 (Peak Holding)

Article 7(1) of First Council Directive 89/104/EEC of 21 December 1988 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks, as amended by the Agreement on the European Economic Area of 2 May 1992, must be interpreted as meaning that goods bearing a trade mark cannot be regarded as having been put on the market in the European Economic Area where the proprietor of the trade mark has imported them into the European Economic Area with a view to selling them there or where he has offered them for sale to consumers in the European Economic Area, in his own shops or those of an associated company, without actually selling them.

In circumstances such as those of the main proceedings, the stipulation, in a contract of sale concluded between the proprietor of the trade mark and an operator established in the European Economic Area, of a prohibition on reselling in the European Economic Area does not mean that there is no putting on the market in the European Economic Area within the meaning of Article 7(1) of Directive 89/104, as amended by the Agreement on the European Economic Area, and thus does not preclude the exhaustion of the proprietor’s exclusive rights in the event of resale in the European Economic Area in breach of the prohibition.

Judgment of 8 Apr 2003, C-244/00 (Van Doren)

A rule of evidence according to which exhaustion of the trade mark right constitutes a plea in defence for a third party against whom the trade mark proprietor brings an action, so that the existence of the conditions for such exhaustion must, as a rule, be proved by the third party who relies on it, is consistent with Community law and, in particular, with Articles 5 and 7 of First Council Directive 89/104/EEC of 21 December 1988 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks, as amended by the Agreement on the European Economic Area of 2 May 199

However, the requirements deriving from the protection of the free movement of goods enshrined, inter alia , in Articles 28 EC and 30 EC may mean that this rule of evidence needs to be qualified. Accordingly, where a third party succeeds in establishing that there is a real risk of partitioning of national markets if he himself bears that burden of proof, particularly where the trade mark proprietor markets his products in the European Economic Area using an exclusive distribution system, it is for the proprietor of the trade mark to establish that the products were initially placed on the market outside the European Economic Area by him or with his consent. If such evidence is adduced, it is for the third party to prove the consent of the trade mark proprietor to subsequent marketing of the products in the European Economic Area. Rodríguez Iglesias Puissochet Wathelet Schintgen Gulmann La Pergola Jann Skouris Macken Colneric von Bahr

Judgment of 23 Apr 2002, C-143/00 (Boehringer Ingelheim)

Article 7(2) of First Council Directive 89/104/EEC of 21 December 1988 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks, as amended by the Agreement on the European Economic Area of 2 May 1992, must be interpreted as meaning that a trade mark proprietor may rely on its trade mark rights in order to prevent a parallel importer from repackaging pharmaceutical products unless the exercise of those rights contributes to artificial partitioning of the markets between Member States.

A parallel importer must, in any event, in order to be entitled to repackage trade-marked pharmaceutical products, fulfil the requirement of prior notice. If the parallel importer does not satisfy that requirement, the trade mark proprietor may oppose the marketing of the repackaged pharmaceutical product. It is incumbent on the parallel importer himself to give notice to the trade mark proprietor of the intended repackaging. In the event of dispute, it is for the national court to assess, in the light of all the relevant circumstances, whether the proprietor had a reasonable time to react to the intended repackaging.

Judgment of 23 Apr 2002, C-443/99 (Merck)

Replacement packaging of pharmaceutical products is objectively necessary within the meaning of the Court's case-law if, without such repackaging, effective access to the market concerned, or to a substantial part of that market, must be considered to be hindered as the result of strong resistance from a significant proportion of consumers to relabelled pharmaceutical products.

Judgment of 20 Nov 2001, C-414/99 (Zino Davidoff)

On a proper construction of Article 7(1) of First Council Directive 89/104/EEC of 21 December 1988 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks, as amended by the Agreement on the European Economic Area of 2 May 1992, the consent of a trade mark proprietor to the marketing within the European Economic Area of products bearing that mark which have previously been placed on the market outside the European Economic Area by that proprietor or with his consent may be implied, where it follows from facts and circumstances prior to, simultaneous with or subsequent to the placing of the goods on the market outside the European Economic Area which, in the view of the national court, unequivocally demonstrate that the proprietor has renounced his right to oppose placing of the goods on the market within the European Economic Area.

Implied consent cannot be inferred:- from the fact that the proprietor of the trade mark has not communicated to all subsequent purchasers of the goods placed on the market outside the European Economic Area his opposition to marketing within the European Economic Area;- from the fact that the goods carry no warning of a prohibition of their being placed on the market within the European Economic Area;- from the fact that the trade mark proprietor has transferred the ownership of the products bearing the trade mark without imposing any contractual reservations and that, according to the law governing the contract, the property right transferred includes, in the absence of such reservations, an unlimited right of resale or, at the very least, a right to market the goods subsequently within the European Economic Area.

With regard to exhaustion of the trade mark proprietor's exclusive right, it is not relevant:- that the importer of goods bearing the trade mark is not aware that the proprietor objects to their being placed on the market in the European Economic Area or sold there by traders other than authorised retailers, or- that the authorised retailers and wholesalers have not imposed on their own purchasers contractual reservations setting out such opposition, even though they have been informed of it by the trade mark proprietor.

Judgment of 1 Jul 1999, C-173/98 (Sebago)

Article 7(1) of the First Council Directive 89/104/EEC of 21 December 1988 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks, as amended by the Agreement on the European Economic Area of 2 May 1992, must be interpreted as meaning that: - the rights conferred by the trade mark are exhausted only if the products have been put on the market in the Community (in the European Economic Area since the Agreement on the European Economic Area entered into force) and that provision does not leave it open to the Member States to provide in their domestic law for exhaustion of the rights conferred by the trade mark in respect of products put on the market in non-member countries; - for there to be consent within the meaning of Article 7(1) of that directive, such consent must relate to each individual item of the product in respect of which exhaustion is pleaded.

Judgment of 23 Feb 1999, C-63/97 (BMW / Deenik)

Articles 5 to 7 of First Directive 89/104 do not entitle the proprietor of a trade mark to prohibit a third party from using the mark for the purpose of informing the public that he carries out the repair and maintenance of goods covered by that trade mark and put on the market under that mark by the proprietor or with his consent, or that he has specialised or is a specialist in the sale or the repair and maintenance of such goods, unless the mark is used in a way that may create to the impression that there is a commercial connection between the other undertaking and the trade mark proprietor, and in particular that the reseller's business is affiliated to the trade mark proprietor's distribution network or that there is a special relationship between the two undertakings.

Judgment of 16 Jul 1998, C-355/96 (Silhouette)

National rules providing for exhaustion of trade-mark rights in respect of products put on the market outside the EEA under that mark by the proprietor or with its consent are contrary to Article 7(1) of First Council Directive 89/104/EEC of 21 December 1988 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks, as amended by the Agreement on the European Economic Area of 2 May 199

Article 7(1) of Directive 89/104 cannot be interpreted as meaning that the proprietor of a trade mark is entitled, on the basis of that provision alone, to obtain an order restraining a third party from using his trade mark for products which have been put on the market outside the European Economic Area under that mark by the proprietor or with his consent.

Judgment of 11 Nov 1997, C-349/95 (Loendersloot)

Article 36 of the EC Treaty must be interpreted as meaning that the owner of trade mark rights may, even if that constitutes a barrier to intra-Community trade, rely on those rights to prevent a third party from removing and then reaffixing or replacing labels bearing the mark which the owner has himself affixed to products he has put on the Community market, unless: - it is established that the use of the trade mark rights by the owner to oppose the marketing of the relabelled products under that trade mark would contribute to artificial partitioning of the markets between Member States; - it is shown that the relabelling cannot affect the original condition of the product; - the presentation of the relabelled product is not such as to be liable to damage the reputation of the trade mark and its owner; and - the person who relabels the products informs the trade mark owner of the relabelling before the relabelled products are put on sale.

Judgment of 4 Nov 1997, C-337/95 (Dior / Evora)

On a proper interpretation of Articles 5 and 7 of Directive 89/104, when trade-marked goods have been put on the Community market by the proprietor of the trade mark or with his consent, a reseller, besides being free to resell those goods, is also free to make use of the trade mark in order to bring to the public's attention the further commercialization of those goods.

The proprietor of a trade mark may not rely on Article 7(2) of Directive 89/104 to oppose the use of the trade mark, by a reseller who habitually markets articles of the same kind, but not necessarily of the same quality, as the trade-marked goods, in ways customary in the reseller's sector of trade, for the purpose of bringing to the public's attention the further commercialization of those goods, unless it is established that, given the specific circumstances of the case, the use of the trade mark for this purpose seriously damages the reputation of the trade mark.

Judgment of 20 Mar 1997, C-352/95 (Phytheron)

Article 7 of the First Council Directive (89/104/EEC) of 21 December 1988 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks is to be interpreted as precluding application of a national rule in Member State A under which the owner of a trade mark may prevent importation of a product protected by the mark where - the product has been manufactured in a non-member country, - it has been imported into Member State B by the owner of the mark or by another company in the same group as the owner of the mark, - it has been lawfully acquired in Member State B by an independent trader, who has exported it to Member State A, - it has not been processed and the packaging has not been changed, apart from the addition to the label of certain information to comply with the requirements of the legislation of the Member State of import, and - the trade mark rights are held in Member States A and B by the same group.

Judgment of 26 Nov 1996, C-313/94 (Fratelli Graffione)

Article 12(2)(b) of Council Directive 89/104/EEC of 21 December 1988 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks is to be interpreted as not precluding a prohibition on the marketing of products coming from a Member State where they are lawfully marketed, on the ground that they bear a trade mark which the proprietor has been specifically prohibited from using in the Member State of importation because it has been held there to be liable to mislead consumers.

Judgment of 11 Jul 1996, C-427/93 (BMS / Paranova)

The reliance by a trade mark owner on his rights as owner in order to prevent an importer from marketing a product which was put on the market in another Member State by the owner or with his consent where that importer has repackaged the product and reaffixed the trade mark without the owner' s authorization, is to be assessed on the basis of the combined provisions of national trade mark law and Article 7 of the First Council Directive (89/104/EEC) of 21 December 1988 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks, interpreted in the light of Article 36 of the EC Treaty.

Save in the circumstances defined in Article 7(2), Article 7(1) of Directive 89/104 precludes the owner of a trade mark from relying on his rights as owner to prevent an importer from marketing a product which was put on the market in another Member State by the owner or with his consent, even if that importer repackaged the product and reaffixed the trade mark to it without the owner' s authorization.

Article 7(2) of Directive 89/104 must be interpreted as meaning that the trade mark owner may legitimately oppose the further marketing of a pharmaceutical product where the importer has repackaged the product and reaffixed the trade mark unless:


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