MY NOTES: Business Organizations | Constitutional Law I | Copyright Law | Evidence | Wills and Trusts

Continental Casualty Co. v. Beardsley, 253 F.2d 702 (1958) p117


Copyrightable material - forms


Defendant copied forms, but not the description on the forms.





Whether a form without the description is covered by a copyright that covers the form and description.





You might have a copyright on the form, but to determine whether there is an infringement you must determine what the defendant took. Since the defendant only took the form and not the description, did the form in itself constitute copyrightable subject matter? NO. Forms are not copyrightable. Here, the defendant only took the blank portion of the form which is not copyrightable.


This is what is referred to as a "thin" copyright protection. The copyright protection here was in the description only, and not in the form itself. Held that where alleged developer of a blanket bond to cover replacement of lost securities published plan in a pamphlet which contained forms including proposed bond, affidavit of loss and indemnity agreement and drafts of an instruction letter and board resolution, such forms were copyrightable, but defendants' proof was insufficient to prove infringement.