Pondering First Sale Doctrine And Foreign-Made Goods

Law360, New York (May 5, 2010, 1:15 PM EDT) -- The Supreme Court recently granted certiorari in Costco Wholesale Corp. v. Omega SA, a copyright case that raises the question of how the “first sale” doctrine applies to imported goods manufactured abroad. While much of the court’s analysis will involve complicated issues of statutory interpretation and congressional intent, the court will also confront a wider debate about the reach of U.S. copyright law to police activities that occur at least in part outside the United States.

The Parties’ Dispute

The parties are well known: Costco operates...
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