Balancing The Interests of Brand Owners And Secondhand Markets of Branded Goods

Date: January 22, 2024 (Monday)

Time: 11:30am to 12:30pm

Venue: Room 723, 7/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, The University of Hong Kong

Speaker: Kung-Chung Liu, Professor of Law, Singapore Management University

Discussant: Haochen Sun, Professor of Law, The University of Hong Kong

Secondhand markets are instrumental to sustainable development, and the long value chains thereof benefit stakeholders and the circular economy alike. Secondhand markets for branded goods are booming but develop under the threat of brand owners bringing trademark infringement suits against resellers, whose outcome often hinges on the authenticity of the disputed goods that brand owners allege only they can determine. Moral hazards, unfair competition and even anti-competitive concerns can arise, as exemplified by recent case law found in Taiwan and the US. Trademark law and competition law have their limitation in providing the right fix for balancing the interests of secondhand markets of branded products and brand owners. Trademark law needs a broader paradigm and arguably the doctrine of corporate social responsibility introduced by courts can do the job.

Prof. Kung-Chung Liu is the Lee Kong Chian Professor of Law (Practice), founder and director of the Applied Research Center for Intellectual Assets and the Law in Asia (ARCIALA), School of Law, Singapore Management University. He is also co-appointed by Renmin University of China and Graduate Institute of Technology, Innovation, and Intellectual Property Management, National Chengchi University, Taiwan. Dr. Liu studied law at National Taiwan University and Ludwig-Maximillian-Universit├Ąt Munich, Germany, and his teaching and research interests include intellectual property law, antitrust and unfair competition law, and communication law.

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