Journal Article

Copyright exhaustion in India and the USA: a comparative critique

Navajyoti Samanta and Shameek Sen

in Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice

Volume 4, issue 11, pages 827-832
Published in print November 2009 | ISSN: 1747-1532
Published online September 2009 | e-ISSN: 1747-1540 | DOI:
Copyright exhaustion in India and the USA: a comparative critique

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  • Arbitration
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Legal context

Copyright exhaustion ensures that the owner of copyright does not have resale downstream control over the copies of copyrighted material once they have been sold. This keeps anticompetitive practices at bay and at the same time ensures that the copyright holder is rewarded once for every copy produced.

Key points

This article examines the difference in approach of the different constituent elements of the overall umbrella of IP Rights jurisprudence, for issues like exhaustion of the IP creator's rights after the first sale of the IP has already taken place, while doing so the authors explore the difference of rights in the same doctrine under different jurisdictions like India and the USA.

Practical significance

The difference in position with respect to patents and copyrights on exhaustion has been amply highlighted. This article explores the fact that the USA extends the doctrine of copyright exhaustion and parallel importation to all kinds of ‘works’, whereas the applicability of the same is much restricted in India, is highlighted as one of the issues to be resolved to attain a state of harmony in applicability and enforceability between apparently similar laws. This article thus compares and contradicts the issue of copyright exhaustion in two very different jurisdiction.

Journal Article.  4670 words. 

Subjects: Arbitration ; Intellectual Property Law

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