Pearson, Wiley Settle Contempt Case Against Illegal Book Seller

April 1, 2005
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April 1-15, 2005 Edition

Pearson, Wiley Settle

Contempt Case Against

Illegal Book Seller

New York, NY/03/21/05—Pearson Education, Inc., and John Wiley & Sons, Inc., have settled an action seeking an Order of Contempt that was filed by them against the principals and operators of Gaafoo.com (aka Costcobooks.com) and various other websites specializing in the Internet sale of a variety of educational books.

The motion was filed as a result of the defendants’ systematic and continued sales of international editions of Pearson and Wiley textbooks in violation of a Consent Order entered into last year between the publishers and the defendants. In the Consent Order, which settled a lawsuit previously brought by the publishers against the defendants regarding their unlawful distribution in the U.S. of foreign editions of a variety of educational books published by the two companies, defendants admitted having continued to engage in the illegal importing, promoting and selling of the publishers’ international editions, and agreed to cease all such conduct and to pay a sizable amount in damages to the two publishers, in addition to the damages initially paid to the publishers in settlement of the original litigation.

The publishers’ contempt motion, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleged that the defendants had resumed the sale over the Internet into the U.S. of large quantities of the publishers’ international edition textbooks. As they had done previously, defendants sold and shipped to U.S. purchasers softcover international versions that were authorized by the publishers for sale in foreign countries but not authorized for sale in the U.S. Pearson and Wiley determined that the defendants had conducted sales of the same nature that they had previously agreed to cease in the court-approved Consent Order.

In settlement of the case, the defendants agreed to desist from such conduct going forward, to pay certain predetermined liquidated damages in the event they again engaged in such conduct, to undertake certain monitoring obligations to avoid inadvertently selling publishers’ international editions within the U.S., and to again pay the publishers an undisclosed settlement amount in respect of damages occasioned by their conduct.

“The defendants willfully chose to ignore the Consent Order they entered into last year,” said Georges Nahitchevansky, of Fross, Zelnick, Lehrman and Zissu, attorney to the publishers. “Pearson and Wiley will not tolerate continued violations of their respective intellectual property rights and will aggressively seek the help of the court in upholding the law. This should serve as fair warning to others engaged in the practice of wrongfully importing and selling Pearson and Wiley international editions that those publishers will pursue them vigorously in court and take all necessary steps to protect their copyrights and trademarks.”

About Pearson Education

Educating 100 million people worldwide, Pearson Education is the global leader in educational publishing. With brands such as Pearson Prentice Hall, Pearson Longman, Pearson Addison Wesley, and many others, Pearson Education provides quality content, assessment tools and educational services in all available media, spanning the learning curve from birth through college and beyond. Pearson Education is part of Pearson (NYSE: PSO), the international media company. Pearson’s primary operations also include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group.

About John Wiley & Sons

Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., provides must-have content and services to customers worldwide. Its core businesses include scientific, technical, and medical journals; encyclopedias, books, and online products and services; professional and consumer books and subscription services; and educational materials for undergraduate and graduate students and lifelong learners. Wiley has publishing, marketing, and distribution centers in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols JWa and JWb. Wiley’s Internet site can be accessed at www.wiley.com.

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