Exhaustion of Rights

Refers to the concept that an intellectual property owner ‘exhausts’ his or her rights with respect to the intellectual property right on first sale. That is to say that once the goods covered by the trademark, patent, or copyright have been sold for the first time with the authority of the right(s) holder, it has no right to seek an additional royalty or further control the use of the goods.

There are limitations to the doctrine, which can arise in grey-market imports, if the right holder has limited sales by the first vendor to a particular territory, although such limitations are usually not viable or indeed legal within a single economy, for example the European Union.

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