High Court Split Over 1st-Sale Rule In Costco Suit

Law360, New York (December 13, 2010, 11:08 AM EST) -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday said it was equally divided on whether the first-sale doctrine could protect Costco Wholesale Corp. from allegations it infringed Omega SA's copyright by selling Swiss-made watches in the U.S. without Omega's permission.

The high court's 4-4 split on the issue means that the judgment of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit against the discount retailer stays and no precedent is established. The deadlock was made possible by the recusal of Justice Elena Kagan.

The dispute hinged on...
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