First Sale Doctrine After Costco v. Omega

Protecting IP Rights in the Gray Market and in Electronic Distribution

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Thursday, August 18, 2011

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Course Materials

This CLE course will provide guidance to IP counsel to companies in the supply chain to understand the first sale doctrine. The panel will discuss recent case law developments, analyze when and where the doctrine applies, and outline effective approaches to protect IP rights.


Several significant recent decisions impact copyrighted goods and the first sale doctrine and call into question the application of the doctrine. The decisions provide guidance as to when copyrighted material can be resold.

Copyright owners have the right to prevent infringing goods from being imported into the U.S., but lawful purchasers of copyrighted goods have the right to resell those goods. Companies using overseas manufacturers are finding that practice can lead to unexpected results.

The explosion of electronic distribution also raises issues as to the application of the first sale doctrine to digital media. For example, the first sale doctrine does not protect the lending of an ebook as it would a printed copy of the same book.

Listen as our authoritative panel of copyright attorneys examines the first sales doctrine and recent developments in the case law and when and where the doctrine applies and offers best practices for protecting IP rights.



  1. First sale doctrine recent developments
    1. Omega v. Costco Wholesale Corp. (U.S. 2010)
    2. Augusto v. UMG (9th Cir. 2011)
    3. Vernor v. Autodesk (9th Cir. 2010)
  2. Electronic distribution and the First Sale doctrine
  3. Best practices for protecting IP rights
    1. Policing copyrights and trademarks
    2. Use of disclaimers
    3. Due diligence requirements


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • How do recent decisions impact the application of the first sale doctrine?
  • When and where does the first sale doctrine apply?
  • What steps can companies and counsel take to strengthen the first sale defense?

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.


Lynn M. Humphreys
Lynn M. Humphreys

Of Counsel
Morrison & Foerster

She focuses her practice on intellectual property counseling and litigation involving trademark, copyright,...  |  Read More

David A. Donahue
David A. Donahue

Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu

He litigates all manner of copyright, trademark, unfair competition, right of publicity and related commercial matters....  |  Read More

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