First Sale Doctrine Copyright Infringement

The First Sale Doctrine is rule of copyright law providing that an individual who knowingly purchases a copy of a copyrighted material has the right to do what they wish with that particular copy, i.e. sell,... more +
The First Sale Doctrine is rule of copyright law providing that an individual who knowingly purchases a copy of a copyrighted material has the right to do what they wish with that particular copy, i.e. sell, display or dispose of that copy. However, the First Sale Doctrine does not grant individual purchasers the right to make unauthorized reproductions of copyrighted material and consequently, the First Sale Doctrine cannot be used as a defense against claims of infringing reproductions.  less -
News & Analysis as of

The Supreme Court Clarifies Standard For Attorney Fee Awards In Copyright Cases

Copyright infringement litigation has been on the rise in recent years, particularly in the Central District of California, with the apparel industry feeling the brunt of this uptick. In a typical case, a plaintiff alleges...more

Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons Inc. - U.S. Supreme Court, June 16, 2016

U.S. Supreme Court holds “objective reasonableness” of losing party’s position is important factor but not controlling one in considering award of attorneys’ fees under Copyright Act. Graduate student Supap Kirtsaeng, a...more

The Kirtsaeng Opinion: Supreme Court Guidance on Attorneys’ Fees Awards in Copyright Cases

Recently, in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court provided substantial guidance in an unsettled area of law by holding that, when deciding whether to award attorneys’ fees under 17 U.S.C. §505, the...more

Supreme Court Provides Guidance on Attorneys’ Fees in Copyright Infringement Actions

On June 16, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., to provide lower courts with guidance regarding the circumstances for awarding attorneys’ fees to a prevailing party in a...more

Supreme Court In Kirstaeng V Wiley: Objective Reasonableness Not Controlling For Attorney Fees

The case of Kirstaeng v. Wiley hit the headlines in 2013 when the Supreme Court held that importation and sale in the United States of books bought from the copyright owner in Thailand was not an infringement of copyright,...more

Supreme Court Injects Uncertainty Into Attorney’s Fee Awards in Copyright Cases

The day after it liberalized the standard for awarding enhanced damages in patent cases, a unanimous Supreme Court, in an opinion authored by Justice Kagan, substantially broadened lower courts’ discretion in granting...more

Supreme Court Provides Guidance on Discretionary Fee-Shifting in Copyright Cases

On June 16, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court clarified how courts should exercise their discretion to award attorneys' fees to the prevailing party in copyright cases. The Court unanimously held that courts should give...more

The Importance of Being Earnest and Objectively Reasonable

Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. continues to make controlling copyright law, visiting the U.S. Supreme Court for the second time on an issue of great importance to copyright owners and litigants. This time, the issued...more

Objective Reasonableness Can Be Central to Fee-Shifting Analysis in Copyright Cases

In Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., the Supreme Court clarified the test for awarding attorney’s fees when applying the Copyright Act’s discretionary fee-shifting provision, 17 U.S.C. § 505. The Court held that the...more

Supreme Court Clarifies Test for Fee-Shifting in Copyright Cases

The Supreme Court on June 16 issued a unanimous ruling clarifying the test for awarding attorneys’ fees to successful copyright litigants. The decision, in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., is sure to have lasting impact...more

U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies Standard for Awarding Attorneys’ Fees to Successful Copyright Litigants.

On June 16, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court in a unanimous decision, clarified the standard for awarding attorneys’ fees under the Copyright Act. This is the second time the case of Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc, No....more

Show Me the Money - Kirtsaeng and Supreme Court Guidance on Attorneys’ Fees Awards in Copyright Cases

WHAT’S NEW - Yesterday, the Supreme Court provided substantial guidance in an unsettled area of law by holding that, in deciding whether to award attorneys’ fees under the Copyright Act’s fee-shifting provision, 17...more

Righting Copyright Wrongs Remains Elusive – Kirtsaeng Leaves Fee Awards to District Court Discretion

On June 16, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons Inc., No. 15-375, resolved a circuit court split by reaffirming the test district courts should use to determine whether to award attorney’s fees...more

The Double-Edged Sword: Supreme Court Holds “Objective Reasonableness” Important But Not Dispositive in Copyright Act Fee Awards

It is a common misperception that a party will automatically recover its attorneys’ fees if it prevails in an action for copyright infringement. First, certain statutory requirements must be met in order to qualify for the...more

The Supreme Court - June 2016 #4

The Supreme Court of the United States issued decisions in three cases on June 16, 2016: Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar, No. 15-7: Yarushka Rivera, a teenage beneficiary of...more

Certain Provisions of California Resale Royalty Act Are Preempted by the Copyright Act

On April 11, 2016, in Estate of Robert Graham, et al. v. Sotheby’s, Inc., D.C. No. 2:11-cv-08604-MWF-FFM (C.D. Cal. 2016), U.S. District Court Judge Michael Fitzgerald concluded that certain provisions of the California...more

Copyright’s “Double Spend” Problem: Digital First Sales

For those interested in the evolution of digital currencies, I highly recommend Steven Levy’s “E-Money (It’s What I Want)” article from Wired way back in December 1994. It’s a great read, and presages many current...more

Intellectual Property Law - April 2016

The Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument Regarding the Standard for Awarding Enhanced Damages in Patent Cases - Why it matters: The U.S. Supreme Court is reviewing the standard for awarding "enhanced" damages in patent...more

Hugh Jackman’s Conundrum: Can the Blockchain Revitalize the First Sale Doctrine Under Copyright Law?

Blockchain technology offers new possibilities for owners to sell digital copies of “pre-owned” content on secondary markets, as we’ve discussed in prior posts. But virtual flea markets – where an owner of a collection of...more

Party Raising “First Sale” Defense to Copyright Infringement Bears Initial Burden of Proof - Adobe Systems Inc. v. Christenson et...

Addressing the appropriate allocation of the burden of proof related to the “first sale” defense to copyright infringement, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit confirmed that the initial burden of proof falls on...more

Supreme Court to Consider (1) PTAB AIA Claim Construction and Reviewability of Institution Decisions and (2) Attorney Fee Awards...

The U. S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to review a panel decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s decision that the U.S. Patent and Trademark’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) was...more

Copyright Infringement and the First Sale Defense

The Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in the case of Dolby Systems, Inc. v. Christenson, focuses primarily on the issue of which party bears the initial burden of proof with regard to a “first sale” defense in a copyright...more

First Sale Defense Blocks “Slam Dunk” Copyright Violation

The Ninth Circuit recently addressed the burden of proof applicable to the first sale defense to a copyright infringement claim. That defense provides that, once a copy of a work is lawfully sold or transferred, the new owner...more

IP Law Tracker Docket Review

Each month, we review significant intellectual property decisions from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern District and Western District of Michigan. Below is the...more

John Wiley & Sons, Inc. v. Kirtsaeng - USCA, Second Circuit, May 27, 2015

Second Circuit affirms denial of defendant’s request for attorneys’ fees in copyright infringement dispute, finding plaintiff pursued objectively reasonable litigation position, having previously prevailed in both district...more

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