Franziska Kurz has been awarded the 2019 Golding Essay Prize, organised by the Competition Law Association. The topic of the competition changes yearly and for 2019, the topic is “Following Brexit, will or should IP rights prevent the importation into the UK of goods put on the market outside the UK by the rightholder or with their consent?”.
Franziska’s essay analyses the impact of Brexit on trade mark exhaustion, as a paradigmatic case study of the conflicting interests surrounding IP exhaustion more generally. Exhaustion relates to the restriction on the rightholder’s ability to prevent the importation of goods by “exhausting” their IP rights on the first sale of the product under certain circumstances. Hitherto, the UK doctrine of exhaustion has been an EEA-wide concept. Particularly in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the question arises whether rightholders will be able to control the importation of goods into the UK by the assertion of their IP rights. The essay addresses two questions: First, what solutions to trade mark exhaustion can the UK adopt in the longer term? Second, what solutions should be adopted?
Franziska is currently a MJur student. She is also a PhD candidate and research assistant (currently on leave while pursuing her MJur) at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg. The prize will be formally awarded in June 2019.