The Channel logo

back to article UK Supremes back Oracle against reseller who brought Sun kit to EU

Oracle has won a UK Supreme Court ruling in its long-running battle with dealer M-Tech Data that upholds the database-maker's right to be the first to bring its gear to EU markets. The case was originally brought by Sun Microsystems, which sued M-Tech in 2009 for importing Sun drives into the EU after Sun had only sold them in …


This topic is closed for new posts.
Silver badge
Big Brother

Wooly and confused.

Who speaks of "rights"? Did anyone mislabel the drives?

"The only right that Sun is seeking to enforce..."

It's called a "privilege". Generally one has to work for that. Not here. We just relabel it a "right". Instant gratification.

"...thus does not engage the principle of the free movement of goods"

Recently the NSA has said that it couldn't tell anyone how many citizens it was listening in on because doing so would violate their right to privacy. This statement is in the same ballpark.


Remember kids

Global economy is only for large multinationals, everyone else buy where we tell you to.


large multinationals


Didn't Tesco & superdrug get this overturned when they sold grey import perfumes?

Surely it can't be the case that the biggest company always wins? can it?


Re: large multinationals

Basic trademark infringement. Sounds like the decision is a repeat of the Tesco v Levis case from ten years ago - that one went to the ECJ. The ECJ confirmed that Levis could control the first sale of their jeans in Europe - Tesco couldn't buy the product from outside of Europe and place it on the market in Europe without Levis' consent (which of course they didn't have).

Trademark law creates a "wall" around Europe which means that only the trademark owner (or somebody authorized by them) can be the first person to put the product on the market in Europe. This allows manufacturers to control movement of goods into Europe, but *not* within Europe. So manufacturers can e.g. establish different prices in different regions (e.g. Europe, USA, Asian countries etc.) - for example sell into India with a lower profit margin in order to achieve sales and develop the market, and sell into the established European market at a higher price point.

European free trade laws ensure that once the product is legitimately on the market in Europe, the trademark owner has exhausted their rights and (generally - might have to re-label or replace instructions for language/safety issues) can't control further movement/sales within Europe.



If Sun didn't want M-Tech to resell drives elsewhere, it should have specified that explicitly in the sales contract with M-Tech. Then it would be within M-Tech's rights to refuse signing such a contract. I believe the Supreme Court's ruling is wrong here...

Silver badge


I'm obviously no laywer. I fail to understand what's wrong with a company buying an item in country A, importing it, paying the required import taxes, and selling it in Country B.

The item isn't a knock off, so what's the problem ?


Re: Confused

Aye. Recent cases have confirmed car companies can't discriminate against personal or grey imports, so why computers?

Silver badge
Thumb Down

Yeah, I call bullshit

Another case of "we're allowed to outsource our workforce around the world, but don't you dare do the same to our products".

Big Brother

If you people don't quit bitching

about a perfectly «legal» decision on the part of the UK «Supreme Court», you are going to be extradicted to the island of Lanai, where Lawrence Joseph Ellison will be happy to entertain you at his leisure. See why we need Wikileaks ?...


This topic is closed for new posts.



Frank Jennings

What do you do? Use manual typwriters or live in a Scottish croft? Our man advises
A rusty petrol pump at an abandoned gas station. Pic by Silvia B. Jakiello via shutterstock

Trevor Pott

Among other things, Active Directory needs an overhaul
Baby looks taken aback/shocked/affronted. Photo by Shutterstock

Kat Hall

Plans for 2 million FTTP connections in next four years 'not enough'
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella


Suit-and-tie-wearing man tries to meditate, take deep breaths in faux yoga pose. Photo by Shutterstock
Emotional intelligence, not tech skills, is the way to woo suits
League of gentlemen poster - Tubbs and Edward at the local shop. Copyright BBC
One reselling man tells his tale of woe