• Retailers Line Up Behind Costco at the Supreme Court
  • September 3, 2010 | Authors: Neil Magnuson; William Rueger Poynter
  • Law Firms: Williams Mullen - Durham Office ; Williams Mullen - Norfolk Office
  • In its 2008 decision in Omega v. Costco, the Ninth Circuit held that the “first-sale” doctrine of copyright law does not apply to goods manufactured and first sold abroad. In Omega, Costco had purchased authentic Omega watches at discount prices from a foreign distributor and imported them for resale in the United States. Omega alleged, and the Ninth Circuit agreed, that such an unauthorized importation and sale of its goods amounted to copyright infringement. This holding could have a significant impact on domestic retailers and importers of goods, particularly where the origin of such goods cannot be traced without difficulty or expense.