Sherlock Holmes & the Case of the Contested Copyright
Chicago-Kent Journal of Intellectual Property, 15, 537, 2016
18 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2016
Date Written: June 19, 2016
For generations, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novels and short stories on the adventures of Sherlock Holmes have captivated the minds of readers and fueled a lucrative intellectual property market. The historical trajectory of international copyright protections to this literary canon, however, is an equally intriguing, if not mysterious, page-turner. This Note explores the procedural history of Klinger v. Conan Doyle Estate, Ltd., and examines how the literary characters of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John H. Watson can simultaneously exist in the public domain, while certain story elements still remain under copyright protection in the United States until 2022.
Keywords: Sherlock Holmes, copyright, intellectual property
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