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

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

Ninth Circuit (Mostly) Skirts the Issue of Copyright Misuse in Most Recent Omega v. Costco Decision

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, as the saying goes. However, things are not always as they appear, and sometimes events unfold in ways you would not anticipate. Such is the case with the Ninth Circuit decision in the...more

How the Kirtsaeng Decision Could Ruin the U.S. Branded Drug Industry

The Constitution gives Congress the power to grant copyright and patent protection in the same part of Article I, specifically in Section 8, Clause 8...more

Adobe Systems Inc. v. Kornrumpf - USCA, Ninth Circuit, June 2, 2014

Adobe Systems Inc. v. Kornrumpf - USCA, Ninth Circuit, June 2, 2014: Ninth Circuit affirms grant of partial summary judgment in favor of Adobe Systems Inc., holding that first sale doctrine was not available as defense...more

Copyright Antitrust Claims Against Textbook Publishers Dismissed in Longstanding Gray Market Copyright Case

It is no secret that college textbooks are expensive, and the average student has little recourse when a professor assigns specific books and editions. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, over the years students have...more

Boston Copyright Round Table on Policy, Creativity and Innovation

The Department of Commerce is holding a round table at Harvard Law School on June 25, 2014 to discuss the Internet Policy Task Force’s Green Paper on Copyright Policy, Creativity and Innovation in the Digital Economy,...more

SCOTUS: “First Sale” Doctrine Also Applies to Copyrighted Works Lawfully Manufactured Abroad

In arguably the most important copyright case of the past decade, the Supreme Court of the United States, in a 6-3 decision, held that the “first sale” doctrine protects the right to import and sell gray market goods. Gray...more

Federal Court Says No to “Used” Digital Music Marketplace

Digital music has come a long way since the era of widespread unauthorized sharing, with digital music sales estimated to be approaching $6 billion worldwide. As this market grows, a natural question is whether there can be a...more

Supreme Court Interprets Copyright "First Sale" Doctrine

Introduction - On March 19, 2013, in a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., holding that the copyright "first sale" doctrine applies to copies of works manufactured...more

Supreme Court Declines to Decide Whether the “First Sale Doctrine” Should Apply to Patent Law

On March 25, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition for certiorari filed by Ninestar Technology Co. in a case decided by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals last year captioned Ninestar Tech. Co. v. ITC (Supreme...more

International Reach Given to First Sale Doctrine in Kirtsaeng Deals a Blow to Copyright Owners

In a decision likely to have broad implications on international consumerism and alternative markets, the Supreme Court, in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, articulated the contours of the Copyright Act’s first sale doctrine...more

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