University of Nottingham Commercial Law Centre

Repair and Refurbishment - Circular Economy Mandates and Trademark Law

B55 Law & Social Sciences Building, University Park
Wednesday 8th November 2023 (14:30-15:30)

Speaker: Professor Anna Tischner, Jagiellonian University, Poland 

Anna Tischner is a law professor at the Intellectual Property Law Chair of the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland. Her research focuses on design and trade mark protection, IPR overlaps and green IP. In the latter domain, she recently published Designing for the European Green Deal – a Supplementary Protection Regime for Circular Designs in the EU (together with D. Beldiman and S. Teilmann-Lock and Spare Parts, Repairs, Trade Marks and Consumer Understanding (together with K. Stasiuk). The latter paper presents an empirical study on consumer perception of trade marks in the context of spare parts commercialization. AG Medina in the opinion in C-334/22 Audi published on 21 September 2023 referred to this empirical study. 

Chair: Professor Estelle Derclaye, University of Nottingham

About the seminar

The climate crisis is forcing actions to radically change the consumption trajectory, reduce waste, and protect resources. Incentives and imperatives to manufacture products that are suitable for long-term use – thanks to durability, easy replacement of parts, repairability and recyclability – are growing. Repair and refurbishment are being promoted as highly desirable market practices. Nonetheless, they are raising concerns for original product manufacturers who object to third parties offering refurbished products under their brand name. Although trade mark law recognizes the principle of exhaustion, trade mark owners contend that the refurbishing or reconditioning of an original product is an infringement of their rights. Spare parts that reproduce a trade mark as a mandatory element of the appearance of the part are also considered infringing. Trade mark law impedes this way the full effect of the repair clause provided in EU design law. Should trade mark law constitute an obstacle to the implementation of sustainability policy? The current situation, strongly marked by social interests of the utmost importance, necessitates revisiting the heart of modern trade mark protection, in particular the concept of trade mark right exhaustion, infringement and limitations. 


University of Nottingham Commercial Law Centre

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD