From the islands of Indonesia, the IP Komodo prowls South East Asia and beyond looking for succulent morsels of intellectual property news with the aim of to raising awareness of South East Asia's IP issues to help people understand this diverse region's IP complexities.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
US Supreme Court case on copyrighted parallel imports from Thailand
The US Supreme Court will start hearing a case this week
about US copyright law involving a Thai national who while living in
the US was sent hundreds of books by his family from Thailand, which he sold
on. The Thai versions were priced lower.Supap Kirtsaeng was a graduate student inCalifornia who sold the books his family sent him, through Ebay, which has vigorously supported
him along with many other E-tailers.John Wiley the publisher of some of the books he was sent and sold sued
The case turns on the US federal copyright law's
first-sale doctrine which covers goods made in the US. The question for the
court is whetherthe doctrine applies to
goods madeabroad. The case has
significance for many small scale importers into the US seeking to use price
arbitrage and importing goods from Asia.Meanwhile many copyright
goods producers have defended their right to sell goods priced different for
different market conditions. Many publishers are forced to sell low priced books in some Asian countries because of the chronic piracy problems, to counter local arguments that their books are too expensive. AIPLA filed a brief in support of John Wiley.