For all of you who love to set up garage sales, list items on eBay (News - Alert) and even launch marketing channels on Amazon for your gently used items, a new Supreme Court ruling is sure to make your business opportunities that much sweeter.
In a six to three ruling, the Supreme Court has determined that grey market goods are legal. The case, Supap Kirtsaeng vs. John Wiley & Sons (News - Alert), Inc., looked at whether or not the First-Sale Doctrine applied to products manufactured overseas.
This doctrine is what allows the owner of a lawfully made product to sell or otherwise dispose of an owned product without the authority of the holder of the copyright. According to this XS International blog post, Wiley argued that the doctrine did not apply to products that were manufactured overseas. The Supreme Court disagreed.
As a result, if you own it, you have the right to sell it. There are no restrictions on the right to resell your iPhones, books, tablets, supercomputers, clothes, cars, antiques or any other goods.
The ruling is great news for members of the Owners’ Rights Initiative (ORI), which include eBay, Goodwill Industries, Overstock.com, American Library Association, XS International and more. ORI has rallied on behalf of consumers, online marketers, libraries, small businesses and even government buyers.
Not only does the ruling cement the right of the consumer and the organization to lend, sell and even give away goods they purchased and own, regardless of origination; it also affirms the fact that the Copyright Act was never intended to limit the distribution of authentic goods.
The aforementioned grey goods include products that are manufactured overseas and sold legally by a manufacturer or distributor, but outside of the authorized channel and then imported to the U.S. for legal sale. This does not apply to illegal or counterfeit goods – only legal products following the natural progression of the market. The manufacturer has already profited from the sale of the product and cannot then control the downstream market.
This doesn’t mean that the manufacturer has to change its approach with warranties – it can still limit what it will cover and maintain. Likewise, consumers have the right to choose to use the applied warranties, repair products on their own or select another company to do so.
As manufacturers can no longer control the downstream market for their products, the incentive for outsourcing manufacturing overseas is also removed. This could bode well for U.S.-based jobs, but could also impact pricing. It will be one area the ORI is sure to watch to see how manufacturers react.
In the meantime, those who rely on Cisco solutions and support can continue to benefit from SMARTnet technical support. Troubleshooting tools, online access and hardware replacement options will still be available as companies seek to maintain optimal performance of their Cisco (News - Alert) products.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey