Klinger v. Conan Doyle Estate, Ltd.

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Civil Court
Case Number: 
No. 14-1128
Decision Date: 
June 16, 2014
Federal District: 
N.D. Ill., E. Div.
Dist. Ct. did not err in granting plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment in action seeking declaration that plaintiff could use material contained in 50 Sherlock Holmes stories and novels in plaintiff’s new book, where said stories and novels were no longer under copyright protection. While defendant argued that copyright protection should be extended in said stories and novels to time when copyrights in 10 newer Holmes’ stories expired because complex Holmes character was not revealed until newer stories were published, Ct. found that there was no basis in statute or case law for extending copyright protection beyond its statutory expiration. As such, instant 50 Sherlock Holmes stories and novels fell into public domain and was fair game for plaintiff to include in his new book.