Although the European intellectual property law concept of the doctrine of exhaustion appears superficially straightforward, uncertainty as to its doctrinal foundations remains. The author explores the status of the doctrine, its interpretation and scope within European Community law, and the pertinent issues regarding the doctrine in relation to both domestic and cross-border issues. The complex structure of the doctrine of exhaustion has made it difficult to formulate more refined rules governing licensing provisions restricting the free circulation of goods. The result of this analysis indicates conflict between the freedom to provide goods and services under European Community law and classifying economic rights in intellectual property.
Intellectual Property, Competition Rules, and the Emerging Internal Market: Some Thoughts on the European Exhaustion Doctrine,
11 Marq. Intellectual Property L. Rev. 291
Available at: http://scholarship.law.marquette.edu/iplr/vol11/iss2/2