The IT Law Wiki

Nichols v. Universal Pictures

32,563pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Talk0 Share

Citation Edit

Nichols v. Universal Pictures Corp., 45 F.2d 119, 7 U.S.P.Q. (BNA) 84 (2d Cir. 1930) (full-text).

Trial Court Proceedings Edit

The line between idea and expression is not easy to draw. At some point, the idea becomes detailed enough to constitute expression. As Judge Learned Hand explained:

Upon any work . . . a great number of patterns of increasing generality will fit equally well, as more and more of the incident is left out. The last may perhaps be no more than the most general statement of what the [ work ] is about, and at times might consist only of its title; but there is a point in this series of abstractions where they are no longer protected, since otherwise the [ author ] could prevent the use of his "ideas," to which, apart from their expression, his property is never extended.[1]


  1. 45 F.2d at 121.

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.