Ownership Rights

At a Glance

While it is essential to protect intellectual property, intellectual property rights should not be misused in an anticompetitive manner that reduces the flow of e-commerce goods and inhibits a robust Internet economy.

  • The sale of legitimate goods from one country to another through the Internet should be enabled
  • An international copyright and trademark exhaustion regime is preferable to a regional exhaustion regime, which restricts the sale of goods outside a particular area
  • Legal goods should be able to be sold anywhere without sellers needing to obtain additional permissions from the copyright or trademark holder

Issue in Detail

While it is essential to protect intellectual property, intellectual property rights should not be misused in an anticompetitive manner that reduces the flow of ecommerce goods and inhibits a robust Internet economy.

Most people think that when they buy something, they own it and they can do with it as they please – whether that means resell it, loan it, or give it away. We refer to this concept as owners’ rights. Once a copyright or trademark holder has been compensated for the initial transfer of goods, the owner of the goods should be able to use or sell those products in any lawful manner. The sale of legitimate goods from one country to another through the Internet should be enabled.

More specifically, intellectual property regimes should incorporate the key principle of international copyright and trademark exhaustion instead of a “regional exhaustion” regime, used to restrict the sale of goods outside a particular area, such that a legal goods may be sold anywhere without obtaining any additional permissions from the copyright or trademark holder.

eBay strongly believes in ownership rights and encourages policymakers around the world to recognize the need for an international copyright and trademark exhaustion regime to protect ownership rights.