Monday, October 12, 2009

Re-importing Copyrighted Goods

By seeking input from the Solicitor General, the Supreme Court appears to be seriously considering granting review of a case raising the issue of whether the doctrine of copyright exhaustion applies to goods sold overseas by a United States. copyright holder and then imported to and sold in the U.S., Costco Wholesale Corp. v. Omega, S.A. Under the doctrine of first sale or exhaustion, once the copyright holder has sold an authorized copy of the protected work, the purchaser takes the copy free of the copyright holders rights and can transfer it without obligation to or subject to restrictions of the copyright holder. Omega sells its watches for a higher price in the U.S. than it does in other countries. Costco purchased Omega watches overseas and began selling them in its U.S. stores. The issue on appeal is whether the overseas sales exhausted the copyright. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the doctrine did not apply.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

USPTO Withdraws Controversial Rules

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has announced that it will withdraw controversial new rules regarding claiming and continuation applications that have been the subject of a court challenge. Two court challenges were brought by independent inventor Dr. Tafas and by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, which were consolidated as Tafas v. Kappos. The case is currently pending appeal before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Federal Circuit Bar Association Model Patent Jury Instructions

The Federal Circuit Bar Association (“FCBA”) has recently released their latest draft of model patent jury instructions and is asking for comments. Comments may be sent by email to The FCBA announcement can be found here.