The Swiss Parliament adopts the principle of “regional exhaustion” regarding parallel importation of patent-protected products in Switzerland

On December 19th, 2008, the Swiss Parliament adopted the principle of regional exhaustion in the Swiss Patent Act. Practically, this means that parallel importation into Switzerland of products that are patent-protected in this country will be possible, under the condition that these products have previously been legally marketed in a Member State of the European Union (“EU”) or of the European Economic Area (“EEA”). The referendum deadline will lapse on April 16th, 2009 and the entry into force is expected in a near future. This modification constitutes a fundamental change in Swiss patent law, as it will authorise so-called “parallel imports” from EU and EEA States [1] . Until December 7th, 1999, the issue of parallel importation had not been decided in Swiss law. That day, the Swiss

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  • Lenz & Staehelin (Geneva)

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Damiano Canapa, The Swiss Parliament adopts the principle of “regional exhaustion” regarding parallel importation of patent-protected products in Switzerland, 19 December 2008, e-Competitions Bulletin Parallel imports, Art. N° 25889

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