ZWeR 2013, 72

RWS Verlag Kommunikationsforum GmbH, Köln RWS Verlag Kommunikationsforum GmbH, Köln 1611-1982 Zeitschrift für Wettbewerbsrecht ZWeR 2013 AufsätzeDimitris Riziotis*

The application of exhaustion on services revisited

The establishment of a common market in the EU has had to overcome many obstacles; one of them has been the territorial nature of intellectual property rights. With regard to the distribution of goods protected with intellectual property rights, the principle of Union exhaustion has been the outcome of an effort to balance the interests of the rightholders with those of the Union users. However, in the area of services no such principle applies. Although in some cases this seems justified, because otherwise the rightholders' rights would be overly restricted, the evolution of digital technology does not justify such a broad exception any more. The ECJ has tried to re-establish this balance in two recent decisions, which hint that the era of the immunity of services to exhaustion may be coming to an end.


  • I. Introduction
  • II. The emergence of the Union exhaustion principle
  • III. The issue of services
  • IV. Satellite television: the Karen Murphy case
    • 1. The opinion of the Advocate General
    • 2. The ruling of the ECJ
    • 3. Critical appraisal
  • V. Software: UsedSoft v Oracle
  • VI. Territorial restrictions and competition law
  • VII. Consequences of the recent caselaw for the application of the exhaustion principle on services
  • VIII. Conclusion
Dr. iur., LL.M. (Munich), Attorney at law, Athens

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