Posted byLexisNexis® Mealey’s™ Legal News
WASHINGTON, D.C. – (Mealey’s) The U.S. Supreme Court agreed yesterday to again address the question of whether a foreign-made work can be resold within the United States without the permission of a copyright holder (Supap Kirtsaeng, d/b/a BlueChristine99 v. John Wiley & Sons Inc., No. 11-697, U.S. Sup.; See 9/2/11, Page 17).
Petitioner Supap Kirtsaeng, doing business as BlueChristine99, won certiorari in his effort to overturn an August 2011 Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling [enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers] that the first-sale defense is unavailable to defendants who purchase copyrighted works abroad for resale here.
In seeking review, Kirtsaeng noted that the issue presented in the instant dispute is similar to that presented in the Supreme Court’s per curiam ruling in Costco Wholesale Corp. v. Omega S.A. (131 S. Ct. 565  [enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers]; See 1/7/11, Page 5), which left intact a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision that the first-sale doctrine does not apply to goods that are manufactured abroad and then imported to the United States.
Justice Elena Kagan took no part in Costco, however, leading to a 4-4 split. Read more…
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