Posts Tagged "international"


Kirtsaeng v. Wiley: Supreme Court Creates New Class of Business Venture

Posted by on Mar 27, 2013 in Copyright, First Sale Doctrine

The Supreme Court decided this week the case of Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons. The opinion will undoubtedly have a large impact on intellectual property law. This case deals with a Thai national who was subsidizing his college tuition in the U.S. by having his relatives in Thailand buy textbooks for cheap, shipping them to him in the US, and then selling the text books to Americans on sites such as eBay. He made about a $100,000 profit off this enterprise. Eventually, the publisher caught wind, and sued. This enterprise is known as the “gray market”. Exploiting the price differential between the US and overseas can be quite profitable. The legality of this practice differs depending on the type of good being sold. Prior to this ruling, on copyrighted goods purchased overseas, most judges were ruling against the gray marketeers. Kirtsaeng argued that the ‘first sale doctrine’ creates an exception that validates his actions. The “first sale doctrine” in copyright law permits the owner of a lawfully purchased copy of a copyrighted work to resell it. Once you buy a copy of something, you own that copy. You can do as you wish with it. This is codified at 17 U.S.C. § 109(a) of the Copyright Act of...

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International Trademark Registration – Madrid Protocol

Posted by on Jul 31, 2012 in Trademark

The Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, also known as the Madrid Protocol, is an international trademark treaty that allows for residents of any member country to file a single international trademark application. The treaty only covers trademark registration, however, and does not guarantee the trademark’s effectiveness across the variety of member states’ legal systems. The primary advantage of the Madrid Protocol is that an applicant can file a single form with one set of fees through a single office. As of November 2, 2003, the Madrid Protocol took effect in the United States. Under the Madrid Protocol, U.S. trademark owners can submit international applications to the International Bureau in Geneva, Switzerland through the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Foreign parties can also seek protection for their trademarks in the United States. Through the Madrid Protocol, a trademark holder can register their trademark in 84 member countries or contracting parties. To submit an application through the USPTO, a trademark holder must file an application or register a trademark with the Office and have a domicile or industrial or commercial establishment in the United States. The international application requires a basic or U.S. application, and both the mark itself and the owner must...

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