On 17 November 2022, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) delivered its preliminary ruling in joined cases C-253/20 Impexeco NV v Novartis (Impexeco), and C-254/20 PI Pharma v Novartis (PI Pharma), finding that where a parallel importer affixes the trade mark of a branded reference medicinal product onto the packaging of a generic product, the brand owner may oppose the placing of that generic product by the parallel importer on the market of a Member State. Though the CJEU provides an exception to this general rule, the authors query whether the exception will ever apply.
Importantly, this case compares: (i) the rules on when a parallel import licence can be obtained (which is a regulatory question), and (ii) when rebranding can legitimately take place for such products (which is an IP question). As set out below, the need for “identicality” is not the same for these two considerations.
Continue Reading Parallel imports: identicality of products when repackaging