On appeal from: [2010] EWCA Civ 997

The appellant is the proprietor of trade marks registered for use in connection with computer hardware.  A trademark infringement claim brought by the appellant against a parallel importer of its hardware, in relation to which the High Court held that the defendant’s defences – based on principles of EU competition law and free movement of goods – had no reasonable prospect of success. The issue before the Court was whether a person who imported and sold goods in the EAA without the consent of the trade mark proprietor was entitled to defend an action for infringement on the ground that the proprietor was engaged in conduct calculated to obstruct the free movement of goods or distort competition in the EEA market. The Supreme Court unanimously allowed the appeal, restoring the order of Kitchin J in the High Court, but declined to make a reference to the CJEU.  Inter alia, as the appellant only sought to enforce the right to control the first marketing of goods in the EEA market, and thus did not engage the principle of the free movement of goods.

For judgment, please download: [2012] UKSC 27
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