Quality King Distributors Inc., v. L'anza Research International Inc.

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Quality King Distributors, Inc. v. L'anza Research International, Inc.
Argued December 8, 1997
Decided March 9, 1998
Full case nameQuality King Distributors, Inc., Petitioner v. L'anza Research International, Inc.
Citations523 U.S. 135 (more)
118 S. Ct. 1125; 140 L. Ed. 2d 254; 1998 U.S. LEXIS 1606; 66 U.S.L.W. 4188; 45 U.S.P.Q.2d (BNA) 1961; Copy. L. Rep. (CCH) ¶ 27,750; 26 Media L. Rep. 1385; 98 Cal. Daily Op. Service 1651; 98 Daily Journal DAR 2291; 1998 Colo. J. C.A.R. 1216; 11 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 383
Case history
PriorOn writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Holding
The copyright holder could not prevent re-importation of materials it had authorized.
Court membership
Chief Justice
William Rehnquist
Associate Justices
John P. Stevens · Sandra Day O'Connor
Antonin Scalia · Anthony Kennedy
David Souter · Clarence Thomas
Ruth Bader Ginsburg · Stephen Breyer
Case opinions
MajorityStevens, joined by unanimous
ConcurrenceGinsburg

Quality King Distributors Inc. v. L'anza Research International Inc., 523 U.S. 135 (1998), was a decision by the United States Supreme Court over whether a copyright holder could restrict redistribution of material containing copyrighted content (authorized by the copyright holder) which is imported into the United States as so-called "grey market" goods.

Opinion of the Court[edit]

The Supreme Court found that the copyright holder could not prevent re-importation of the products it had authorized for export from the United States.

This case did not address the importation of products made outside the United States under authority of the copyright holder. The Court addressed that issue in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 568 U.S. 519 (2013), holding that those sales were also qualifying "first sales", and that copyright holders could not restrict trafficking of those works after those sales.

See also[edit]

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