Conan Doyle Estate keeps on trying but loses again…

On July 3, the Conan Doyle Estate announced that it intended to ask the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn the decision of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Klinger v. Conan Doyle Estate, Ltd. (called a “petition for certiorari”). The Estate also asked the 7th Circuit to “stay” (put on hold) its opinion, so that the Estate would not lose money while the Supreme Court considered its case. The effect of the stay would also likely have been to defer the hearings, scheduled to occur very quickly, on whether the Estate should have to pay the significant legal fees we occurred in combating their abusive business tactics.

This afternoon, the 7th Circuit DENIED the Estate’s motion. Its ruling stands and is in full effect. Whether the Estate will now drop its plans to file for certiorari remains to be seen.

Of course, the Supreme Court is not required to hear every case and selects very few each year, based on whether the case involves a conflict among the lower courts or is a critical legal issue, in the Court’s sole judgment. I’m told that the chance that the SCOTUS would actually agree to hear the Estate’s case is very slim.

As I’ve written previously, the 7th Circuit ruled on June 22 in our favor, finding that creators were free to use the characters of Holmes, Watson, etc., so long as the creators did not infringe on the “protected elements” in the remaining 10 copyrighted stories. Clearly, the characters’ names and most of their characteristics are not such “protected elements.” Thus, to put it very loosely, Sherlock Holmes is “free.” Details of the motion, the denial, the 7th Circuit opinion, etc., can be found at the website.

Thank you for all your support!


  1. […] that the high court selects “very few cases each year,” Klinger wrote Wednesday on his website, “I’m told that the chance that the SCOTUS would actually agree to hear the Estate’s case […]

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