Williams & Wilkins Co. v. United States
|Williams & Wilkins Co. v. United States|
Supreme Court of the United States
|Argued December 17, 1974
Decided February 25, 1975
|Full case name||Williams & Wilkins Co. v. United States|
|Citations||420 U.S. 376 (more)|
|Court of Claims held that it was a fair use for libraries to photocopy articles for use by patrons engaged in scientific research. The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided Supreme Court.|
|Blackmun took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.|
Williams & Wilkins Co. v. United States, 487 F.2d 1345 (Ct. Cl. 1973), was an important intellectual property decision by the federal Court of Claims, later affirmed by a per curiam opinion from an evenly divided United States Supreme Court, with only eight justices voting (Harry Blackmun took no part in the decision of this case). The decision held that it was a fair use for libraries to photocopy articles for use by patrons engaged in scientific research.
This decision, written by Judge Oscar Davis, has been cited as part of the trend in which the courts will take a cautious approach to intellectual property issues raised by the advent of new technology. Rather than enforce the rights of the author articles by placing a prohibition on such copying, the Court in this case held that this was not prohibited by the law as written, leaving it to the United States Congress to address the issue through legislation.
- List of United States Supreme Court cases, volume 420
- CCH Canadian Ltd. v. Law Society of Upper Canada : Similar Canadian case
- Sony Corp. v. Universal City Studios (1982)
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