The Potential of Impact: Kirtsaeng, dba Bluechristine99 v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. On In-House Legal Department Enforcement Strategies
Joseph Drayton, Partner, Cooley LLP, USA
Jamie Melendez, In-house Counsel, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc., USA
Vanessa Soman, Vice President Associate Counsel, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc., USA
The Supreme Court reaffirmed the limitations on copyright owners’ exclusive rights- via the First Sale Doctrine with its ruling in Kirtsaeng, dba Bluechristine99 v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. By doing so, it not only upheld an important section of the Copyright Act, it also seemingly legitimized the “grey market.” This ruling, along with Quality King Distributors Inc., v. L'anza Research International Inc., will likely make it impossible to overcome one of the most vexing enforcement issues plaguing U.S. businesses – competition from the sale of their own goods that are manufactured abroad. When this business issue is coupled with the lack of a meaningful, enforceable, legislative regime to thwart the sale of such goods, it may result in a host of unintended -- but predictable consequences. One of the most likely consequences will be an increase in the cost of doing business across a wide swath of industries, particularly legal budgets for enforcement.
We will review the Court’s reasoning to explore the impact the ruling may have on the enforcement strategies of in house counsel and the potential pressure on legal department budgets.
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