Pharmaceutical trade marks and parallel imports
Produced in partnership with James Fish of JA Kemp
Pharmaceutical trade marks and parallel imports

The following Life Sciences guidance note Produced in partnership with James Fish of JA Kemp provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Pharmaceutical trade marks and parallel imports
  • Pharmaceutical trade marks: regulation and naming procedures
  • Customs and goods in transit provisions
  • Repackaging of pharmaceuticals: the balance between free movement of goods and trade mark rights
  • Counterfeit medicines

On 31 January 2020, the UK ceased to be an EU Member State and entered an implementation period during which it continues to be treated by the EU as a Member State for many purposes. As a third country, the UK can no longer participate in the EU’s political institutions, agencies, offices, bodies (except to the limited extent agreed), but it continues to be subject to EU law and must submit to the continuing jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the EU in accordance with the transitional arrangements in Part 4 of the Withdrawal Agreement. For further reading, see: Brexit—Life Sciences and News Analysis: Brexit Bulletin—key updates, research tips and resources.

Pharmaceutical trade marks: regulation and naming procedures

In most fields of business, trade mark owners have a relatively free hand in selecting the brands they use to market their goods or services. In general, where there is no risk of confusion on the part of the relevant consumer with an earlier brand, a trade mark will be free for use.

This is not the case with respect to trade marks for pharmaceutical products, which are subject to an extra layer of regulation in order to protect public health. Pharmaceutical trade marks can only be put into commercial use once they have been granted a marketing authorisation (MA)). In determining