Seamaster-ing the First Sale Doctrine: A Tripartite Framework for Navigating the Applicability of Section 109(a) to Gray Market Goods

41 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2012

Date Written: June 1, 2012

Abstract

The applicability of the first sale doctrine of copyright law (17 U.S.C. § 109(a)) to gray market goods manufactured abroad has been cause for controversy among the circuit courts. It is unclear whether the language of this statute, particularly the words "lawfully made under this title" refers to geographic origin or jurisdictional origin, or if it refers to something else. Moreover, the last Supreme Court decision on the issue Costco v. Omega rendered inconclusive after it upheld the decision of the 9th Circuit 4-4. In the October 2012 term, the Supreme Court will once again have the chance to evaluate the meaning of this phrase in John Wiley & Sons v. Kirtsaeng. This note examines the effect of the varying interpretations of this statute through the lens of the luxury goods industry.

Keywords: Costco, Omega, Kirtsaeng, Wiley, first sale doctrine, copyright, copyright law, gray market goods, luxury goods, 17 U.S.C. § 109(a)

Suggested Citation

Alvarado, Daniela, Seamaster-ing the First Sale Doctrine: A Tripartite Framework for Navigating the Applicability of Section 109(a) to Gray Market Goods (June 1, 2012). Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal, Vol. 22, p. 885, 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2115846

Daniela Alvarado (Contact Author)

Fordham University School of Law ( email )

140 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10023
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
50
Abstract Views
878
PlumX Metrics