Intellectual Property

Idea-Expression Dichotomy


Copyright only protects expressions, not ideas.

  1. In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.
Merger Doctrine

If an expression is indistinguishable from the underlying facts, the merger doctrine prohibits copyright protection. E.g., maps.