Decisions in Brief

Vol. 6 No. 5


John C. Gatz is a member of the firm Nixon Peabody LLP in Chicago. Column Contributors include the following writers. Copyrights: Zachary J. Smolinski, Panduit Corporation; Michael N. Spink, Brinks, Hofer, Gilson & Lione; Mark R. Anderson, Akerman LLP. Patents: Cynthia K. Barnett, Johnson & Johnson; Timothy M. Kowalski, Google Inc.; R. Trevor Carter and Daniel M. Lechleiter, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP; Robert W. (Bill) Mason, Kinetic Concepts, Inc. Trade Secrets: R. Mark Halligan, Nixon Peabody LLP. Trademarks: Janet M. Garetto and Elizabeth W. Baio, Nixon Peabody LLP; Amy L. Sierocki.


Basic Elements of Sherlock Holmes Stories in Public Domain

Klinger v. Conan Doyle Estate, Ltd., 2013 WL 6824923 (N.D. Ill. 2013). Leslie Klinger, a Sherlock Holmes expert, had previously co-edited a collection of new Sherlock Holmes stories by a variety of authors. During the development of that collection, the Conan Doyle estate approached the publisher and said that a license would be necessary. Klinger did not think the license was necessary because most of the Sherlock Holmes stories were in the public domain. The publisher accepted the terms anyway. While Klinger was working on a sequel to the new story collection, the publisher of the sequel was approached by the Conan Doyle estate about licensing terms. While Klinger still thought such a license was unnecessary, the publisher, concerned about potential litigation, backed out of the project.

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