Copyright & Trademark Matters Insights and Developments in Copyright and Trademark Law

U.S. Supreme Court Hears Arguments in the First Sale Case

Posted in Copyright, Copyright Infringement, First Sale

Written by Susan Neuberger Weller

Despite Hurricane Sandy, the US Supreme Court heard arguments on Monday, October 29, 2012 on whether the “first-sale doctrine” of US copyright law applies to goods made outside the US. The substance of the case, as we reported to you previously, is the specific language in the first-zero rule which applies to goods “lawfully made under this title,” referring to the caps US Copyright Act.

During oral arguments, several of the justices indicated that the statutory language could be interpreted several ways, leaving the possibility that policy considerations might motivate the final decision in the case.

 We will report back as soon as the Court’s decision issues, which is not expected for many months.