In a long awaited decision, the Supreme Court has refused to allow a parallel trader to rely on so-called “Euro-defences” against a trade mark infringement claim, which will come as a great relief to brand owners across all industry sectors. The Supreme Court overturned the decision of the Court of Appeal and reinstated the summary judgment of the High Court, which had allowed Sun Microsystems’ claim of trade mark infringement relating to second hand hardware imported from countries outside the EEA without its consent. The Supreme Court found that the Trade Mark Directive should be treated as “standalone” legislation and not subject to any additional limitation under competition law principles. Further, there was no relevant connection between the allegations made by the importer of anti-competitive behaviour by Sun Microsystems and the trade mark infringement claim.
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