Emerson v Davies: 1845

Mr. Justice Story said: ‘The question is not whether the materials which are used are entirely new and have never been used before; or even that they have never been used before for the same purpose. The true question is whether the same plan, arrangement, and combination of materials have been used before for the same purpose or for any other purpose. If they have not, then the plaintiff is entitled to a copyright, although he may have gathered hints for his plan and arrangement, or parts of his plan and arrangement, from existing and known sources. He may have borrowed much of his materials from others, but if they are combined in a different manner from what was in use before … he is entitled to a copyright … It is true that he does not thereby acquire the right to appropriate to himself the materials which were common to all persons before, so as to exclude those persons from a future use of such materials; but then they have no right to use such materials with his improvements superadded, whether they consist in plan, arrangement, or illustrations, or combinations, for these are strictly his own …’
Mr. Justice Story
(1845) 3 Story’s US Rep 768
United States
Cited by:
CitedMacMlillan and Co Ltd v Cooper 1923
It is not the appropriation of the raw material that is at issue in copyright claims but the appropriation of another’s labour, skill and capital. Accordingly, Lord Atkinson said: ‘. . it is the product of the labour, skill, and capital of one man . .
CitedInterlego AG v Tyco Industries Inc PC 5-May-1988
How much new material for new copyright
(Hong Kong) Toy building bricks were manufactured by Lego in accordance with engineering drawings made for that purpose. One issue was whether new drawings made since 1972, altering the original drawings in various minor respects but added new . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 03 September 2021; Ref: scu.667568