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(1) BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM KG (2) BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM PHARMA KG v SWINGWARD LTD: (1) BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM KG (2) BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM PHARMA KG v DOWELHURST LTD: GLAXO GROUP LTD v SWINGWARD LTD: (1) GL

Whether “co-branding” and “de-branding” by parallel importers caused damage to the reputation of the trade mark and its proprietor was a question of fact for the national court, and in the instant case the importers’ activities by way of re-boxing and re-labelling had not caused damage to the reputation of the pharmaceutical manufacturers’ trade marks.

4 March 2008

The Court of Appeal resumed hearing appeals and cross-appeals against two decisions of the High Court after the European Court of Justice had given judgment on questions referred to it by the Court of Appeal. The appellant parallel importers (P) purchased in a member state other than the UK original pharmaceuticals packed in cardboard boxes appropriate for that member state containing an appropriate instruction leaflet for that member state. P then “re-boxed” the pharmaceuticals in new boxes designed for the UK market together with new information leaflets complying with UK regulatory requirements. Re-boxing generally involved re-affixing the original trade mark on the information leaflets and sometimes on the boxes. An alternative to re-boxing involved sticking new labels on the foreign language boxes and replacing the leaflets. The new boxes or stickers usually indicated that the goods had been procured in the European Union and repackaged by P. The respondent manufacturers (M...

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