The patent is the instrument by which an innovation that provides a solution to a specific technical problem is legally protected. The specific subject-matter of a patent right lies in granting to the inventor, in order to reward his creative effort, an exclusive right for first placing the product on the market. It grants the patentee the exclusive right to use the invention with a view to manufacturing industrial products and putting them into circulation for the first time, either directly or by grant of licenses to third parties, as well as the right to take action in the event of infringements. Once this specific subject-matter is achieved, the theory of exhaustion of rights prevents the proprietor of the intellectual property right from opposing the importation or marketing of a product which has been lawfully marketed in another Member State. The essential function of a patent is to guarantee that its proprietor obtains the reward for his creative effort by allowing him to prevent the marketing of products manufactured in another Member State by the holder of a compulsory license granted in respect of a parallel patent held by the same proprietor.