Supreme Court tie vote upholds ruling against Costco over Swiss watches

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court has left in place a ruling that found Costco violated U.S. copyright law by selling a line of Omega watches at cut-rate prices without the Swiss watch maker's permission.

The court split 4-4 Monday on Costco's appeal of a lower court ruling. The tie vote upholds that ruling, but does not create a high court precedent on the issue.

New Justice Elena Kagan did not take part in the case because she worked on it while serving in the Justice Department before joining the court. It is the first 4-4 vote in 20 cases the court has so far heard without Kagan. Only two of the others have been decided.