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Jenner & Block Partner Andrew J. “A.J.” Thomas and Associate Lisa J. Kohn recently co-authored a new installment of the “Content Matters” column, published in the Los Angeles and San Francisco editions of the Daily Journal. Entitled “High Court's 'First Sale' Ruling Threatens Market Segmentation,” the column on April 9 examined the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, which held that the copyright “first sale” doctrine permitted a copyrighted work made and acquired overseas tobe imported into the United States without the copyright owner’s consent.
The March 19 ruling severely limits the Copyright Act’s importation ban and“effectively eliminates copyright law as a tool to police parallel imports, or ‘gray-market’ goods, and requires copyright owners to rethink current strategies for market segmentation -- the practice of charging higher prices in the U.S. to recoup fixed investments while charging lower prices in foreign territories.”