Glenn Pudelka, counsel in Edwards Wildman's
Intellectual Property practice in Boston, discussed how the US Supreme Court found that the Copyright Act's first-sale doctrine was not limited by geography and applied equally to goods made both in the US and abroad, reversing a victory for John Wiley & Sons Inc., in Law360. In the article, "IP Lawyers Weigh In On High Court's 1st-Sale Ruling
," Pudelka said, "This decision is a bit surprising based on the previous cases of Quality King and Omega. Ultimately, the geographic interpretation by the publishers of 'lawfully made under this title' was difficult for the majority of the court to accept since it didn’t work for all situations where those words were used in the Copyright Act. More importantly from a copyright perspective is the court’s acknowledgement that Section 602(a)(1) is significantly diminished by this decision, and limited 'to a fairly esoteric set of applications.' The majority acknowledges that its decision causes problems for divided markets, but that the first sale doctrine isn’t the way to solve those problems."