IP at the Supreme Court Series: Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons

Supreme Court Building

March 21, 2013
5:45pm | Room 602 

Reception to Follow

Supap Kirtsaeng helped to finance his doctorate in mathematics at the University of Southern California by having friends and family send him textbooks they purchased in Thailand for resale in the United States through eBay.  Although these books were lawfully purchased in Thailand, Kirtsaeng was sued by John Wiley & Sons for copyright infringement.

In this case, the Supreme Court revisits the relationship between the Copyright Act’s limits on importation of a copyrighted work without the copyright owner’s permission and the first sale doctrine, which permits resale of copies of a work without permission.  The Court divided evenly over this issue in a 2010 case pitting Costco against Omega.

On March 19, 2013, the Supreme Court held that “the ‘first sale’ doctrine applies to copies of a copyrighted work lawfully made abroad.”

Arguments were heard in October 2012. This spring,  PIJIP is pleased to welcome Counsel of Record for Petitioner along with Counsel for amici, to discuss the case, the oral argument, and the implications of the case going forward.


Peter Jaszi
Washington College of Law, Moderator

Eleonora Zlotnikova
Sam P. Israel P.C., Counsel for Petitioner

Allan Adler 
Association of American Publishers

Ariel Lavinbuk
Robbins Russell, Counsel for amicus Costco, Inc., in support of Petitioner

Aaron Panner
Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, PLLC Counsel for amicus Omega, in support of Respondent

Brandon Butler
Association of Research Libraries 

Jonathan Band


Decision: March 19, 2013
Argument: TranscriptAudio

All briefs available on SCOTUSblog: Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.