Executive Briefings

Court Opens Way for U.S. Retailers to Import Lower-Priced Goods Despite Copyright Laws

The U.S. Supreme Court has removed a major barricade for cross-border e-commerce, ruling that so long as a product isn't pirated, U.S. retailers can import it without violating copyright law. In practice, that means an online retailer can sell U.S. customers many products that are lower priced"”and were never intended to be sold in the U.S."”without breaking the law.

We're not talking about pirated goods here, but what's often called the "gray market""”legitimate products that aren't authorized for U.S. sale. Those products are usually priced lower, because they're intended for less-affluent markets than the U.S. Costco and Kmart have sold those types of products in the past and gotten into legal trouble. This ruling says they won't have that trouble again (at least until Congress changes the law or product manufacturers come up with new arguments). But there are much bigger e-commerce implications in the court's decision to get rid of those geographical limits.

Read Full Article

We're not talking about pirated goods here, but what's often called the "gray market""”legitimate products that aren't authorized for U.S. sale. Those products are usually priced lower, because they're intended for less-affluent markets than the U.S. Costco and Kmart have sold those types of products in the past and gotten into legal trouble. This ruling says they won't have that trouble again (at least until Congress changes the law or product manufacturers come up with new arguments). But there are much bigger e-commerce implications in the court's decision to get rid of those geographical limits.

Read Full Article