International Exhaustion, Parallel Imports, and the Conflict between the Patent and Copyright Laws of the United States


This article analyses the principle of international exhaustion—the doctrine that sales in a foreign country extinguish intellectual property rights. Many developed countries have pushed the international community not to recognize international exhaustion, and thus, to prevent parallel imports. However, the Supreme Court of the United States has recently held that there is exhaustion under US Copyright law for international sales. This is an unexpected holding and it creates a conflict between copyright law and patent law on the issue of international exhaustion. This article examines the effects and possible resolution of that conflict.

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C. Clugston, "International Exhaustion, Parallel Imports, and the Conflict between the Patent and Copyright Laws of the United States," Beijing Law Review, Vol. 4 No. 3, 2013, pp. 95-99. doi: 10.4236/blr.2013.43012.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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