The exhaustion of rights

David T. Keeling

in Intellectual Property Rights in EU Law Volume I: Free Movement and Competition Law

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9780198259183
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681912 | DOI:

Series: Oxford European Union Law Library

The exhaustion of rights

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The theory of exhaustion, in relation to patents, was based on the idea that the basic objective of the patent (namely, to reward the creative effort of the inventor and thus stimulate scientific progress) could be achieved by granting the patentee the right to make the first sale of the goods in monopoly conditions. The patentee takes his profit on the first sale and cannot expect further profits to accrue to him, after that point, from goods which he has had the advantage of selling in monopoly conditions. There is no justification, inherent in the logic of patent law, for allowing the patentee to interfere with the ordinary commercial freedom of subsequent acquirers of such goods.

Keywords: theory of exhaustion; patents; granting the right; monopoly conditions; patent law; commercial freedom

Chapter.  35367 words. 

Subjects: Intellectual Property Law

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