Useful Article on the First Sale Doctrine in Trademark Law (Guest Blog Post)

4 02 2013


Yvette Joy Liebesman and Benjamin Wilson, The Mark of a Resold Good, 20 George Mason L. Rev. 157 (2012)

Our article, recently published in the George Mason Law Review, concerns mark owners’ attempts at stifling the online resale of their goods. Over the past ten years, casual resellers have migrated from garage sales, swap meets and consignment stores to online sites such as eBay and Craigslist. What were once minor side hobbies have, in many instances, become lucrative businesses. Today, there are hundreds of books available about selling goods online, every month 30 million new ads are posted on Craigslist, and every day six million new listings are published on eBay. These goods—when genuine? should be protected by the first sale doctrine, a well-known defense to infringement claims that applies across patent, copyright, and trademark law. Simply stated, once a manufacturer sells a product, it may not interfere with future sales of that particular good.


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