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[7WashJLTech&Arts237] Cheaper Watches and Copyright Law: Navigating "Gray Markets" After the Supreme Court's Split in Costco v. Omega, S.A.

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dc.contributor.author Howell, Parker A.
dc.contributor.author Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts
dc.date.accessioned 2012-04-04T21:41:42Z
dc.date.available 2012-04-04T21:41:42Z
dc.date.issued 2012-04
dc.identifier.citation 7 Wash.J.L. Tech & Arts 237 (2012) en_US
dc.identifier.issn 2157-2534
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1773.1/1113
dc.description vol.7 no.3 Winter 2012 en_US
dc.description.abstract Some manufacturers seek to prevent unauthorized importation and sale of their foreign-made products, called “gray market” goods or “parallel imports,” through copyright law. The U.S. Copyright Act prohibits importation of copyrighted works without the copyright owner’s permission. At least one manufacturer, Omega, sought to extend this protection to its watches, a noncreative product, by affixing copyrighted logos. In Costco v. Omega, S.A., Omega claimed Costco violated its distribution right by selling the watches in the U.S., while Costco contended that a first sale abroad had extinguished Omega’s rights. The case reached the U.S. Supreme Court, which affirmed by an evenly divided court the Ninth Circuit’s holding that the first-sale doctrine does not apply when products are initially made and sold abroad. The Court’s decision suggested that copyright law might offer businesses a potent method to fight parallel importation. However, on remand the district court granted summary judgment to Costco on the rationale that applying a copyrighted logo to an otherwise non-creative product constituted copyright “misuse.” While Omega has decision suggests a critical limitation on producers’ use of copyright to protect utilitarian goods from unauthorized importation and sale. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Seattle: Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts, University of Washington School of Law en_US
dc.subject Intellectual Property en_US
dc.subject Litigation en_US
dc.title [7WashJLTech&Arts237] Cheaper Watches and Copyright Law: Navigating "Gray Markets" After the Supreme Court's Split in Costco v. Omega, S.A. en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.rights.holder Copyright 2012 Parker A. Howell en_US


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