Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2128042
 


 



Brief of Intellectual Property Law Professors as Amici Curiae in Support of Defendant-Appellee and Affirmance in Omega S.A. v. Costco Wholesale Corp.


Edward Lee


Illinois Institute of Technology - Chicago-Kent College of Law

July 25, 2012


Abstract:     
Summary of Argument: Copyright is not an invitation for businesses to circumvent trademark law, much less to control the distribution of uncopyrightable, functional devices. Amici respectfully submit this brief to explain why Omega’s attempt to stop others from reselling lawfully purchased Omega watches is copyright misuse, as the district court correctly found. The only part of the watch in which Omega claims copyright protection is a tiny insignia engraved on the back of the watch. However, instead of limiting its copyright to the insignia — a merely incidental feature of the watch that Omega strategically tacked on — Omega seeks to leverage the insignia’s copyright to encompass the entire watch, which is functional and cannot be copyrighted. Omega’s leveraging its copyright for a token feature to restrict the entire watch’s redistribution conflicts with both trademark law’s pro-competition policy in allowing resale of lawfully purchased consumer goods and copyright law’s policy of leaving functional devices to patent law for protection. Omega’s conduct is misuse also because it circumvents Costco’s fair use of the incidental insignia.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 42

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Date posted: August 12, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Lee, Edward, Brief of Intellectual Property Law Professors as Amici Curiae in Support of Defendant-Appellee and Affirmance in Omega S.A. v. Costco Wholesale Corp. (July 25, 2012). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2128042 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2128042

Contact Information

Edward Lee (Contact Author)
Illinois Institute of Technology - Chicago-Kent College of Law ( email )
565 W. Adams St.
Chicago, IL 60661-3691
United States

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