This paper examines how circular economics addresses and uses smart technology, and demonstrates the lack of consideration given to ownership issues in such contexts. The extent to which circular economic ideals require controlling goods down-stream will be exposed. Following this is an analysis of the ramiﬁcations of smart technology, illustrated with recent examples of control through smart technology. This leads to a critique of the US Supreme Court’s recent decision on patent exhaustion Impression Products v Lexmark alongside the CJEU’s decision in UsedSoft on copyright, addressing implications for contracting practices. The article concludes by urging close comparison of claimed beneﬁts arising from circular economic approaches to smart technology with the potential costs of control (or lack thereof) of novel technologies.
- Circular economy
- Smart technology