Baker v. Selden, Washington D.C. (1879)

Source: The University of Texas Tarlton Law Library Stack 215: Baker v. Selden, 101 U.S. 99 (1879).

Baker v. Selden, Washington D.C. (1879), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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Full title:
Baker v. Selden, 101 U.S. 99

Full title original language:

A seminal case on the issue of copyrightable subject matter decided by the Supreme Court. The decision denied copyright protection to an accounting form on the ground that functional methods and systems were not proper subject matter of copyright and could only be protected by a patent. The commentary surveys the litigation and its background, the Supreme Court decision, and the broader context of late nineteenth century development of American copyright law within which Baker v. Selden fits. It concludes by briefly discussing the various doctrines of modern copyright law whose origin is traceable, at least in part, to the Baker decision.

1 Commentary:

  • ___. 'Why Copyright Law Excludes Systems and Processes from the Scope of Its Protection.' 85 Tex. L. Rev. 1921 (2007).

  • Samuelson, Pamela. 'The Story of Baker v. Selden: Sharpening the Distinction Between Authorship and Invention.' In Intellectual Property Stories 159 (Jane C. Ginsburg & Rochelle Cooper Dreyfuss eds., 2006).

  • Hudson, Thomas B. 'A Brief History of the Development of Design Patent Protection in the United States.' 30 J. Pat. Off. Soc'y 380 (1948).

Related documents in this database:
1879: Selden's Argument
1879: Baker's Argument

Author: N/A

Publisher: N/A

Year: 1879

Location: Washington D.C.

Language: English

Source: The University of Texas Tarlton Law Library Stack 215: Baker v. Selden, 101 U.S. 99 (1879).

Persons referred to:
Baker, William C. M.
Bradley, Joseph Philo
Lloyd, Harlan P.
Malins, Sir Richard
Moulton, Charles W.
Romilly, Sir John
Selden, Charles
Selden, Elizabeth
Southard, Milton Isaiah
Taft, Alphonso
Thompson, Smith

Places referred to:

Cases referred to:
Baker v. Selden, 101 U.S. 99 (1879)
Clayton v. Stone, 5 F. Cases 999 (S.D.N.Y. 1829)
Cobbett v. Woodward (1872) L.R. 14. Eq 407
Drury v. Ewing (1862), 1 Bond's Rep., 540
Page v. Wisden, 20 Law Times 435 (1869)

Institutions referred to:
Court of Chancery, England
Ohio District Court
Patent Office, U.S. Department of State
U.S. Congress
U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Constitutional Copyright Clause 1789
U.S. Copyright Act 1831, 21st Cong., 2d Sess., 4 Stat. 436

books, protected subject matter
constitution, US
fair use
patents, for invention
property theory, authors' property
public domain
technical manuals

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