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Miscellaneous points. For the protection of patentees, the Acts of Parliament above mentioned have introduced some other provisions of great importance to which we will now briefly refer. First, they enable the applicant or patentee, by request in writing left at the Patent Office, to obtain leave to amend his specification, by way of disclaimer, correction, or explanation ; and the amendment may be allowed with or without terms. No amendment is, however, allowable which would make the specification as amended claim an invention substantially larger than, or substantially different from, the invention claimed by the specification as it stood before amendment (6). Secondly, if, in any action for infringement, the court has certified that the validity of the patent came in question, then, in any subsequent action for infringement, the plaintiff, on obtaining judgment in his favour, may have his full costs, charges, and expenses as between solicitor and client (c).
Thirdly, if a patent is lost or destroyed, a duplicate thereof may be sealed (d). Fourthly, for the protection of the public, the Patents Acts have also provided, that a person claiming to be a patentee may not by circulars, advertisements, or otherwise, without just and probable cause, use threats of legal proceedings against persons manufacturing or dealing in articles alleged to be (but not really being) infringements of his patent; and an injunction may be obtained against the continuance of such threats, with or without damages (e).
II.–COPYRIGHT. Definition and history.-By Copyright is meant the right of an author to print or otherwise multiply copies of his own original literary or artistic work, exclusively of all other persons (f). It does not appear that the Roman Law recognised in any specific way this right of property ; and with us in England the right was not definitely recognised until a comparatively late period of our legal history. But in the reign of Queen Anne, it became at length the subject of positive regulation, the statute 8 Anne, c. 21, having enacted that the author of any book, and his assigns, should have the sole liberty of printing and reprinting it, “ for the term of fourteen years, and no longer” ; and the right so recognised was protected by means of penalties and forfeitures inflicted on all those who infringed the copyright. And under the Act of Queen Anne, as amended by the Copyright Acts, 1775 and 1801, if, at the end of the fourteen years, the author himself should be living, the copyright returned to him for another term of the same duration.
(b) Patents Act, 1883, s. 18; (d) Ibid. s. 37. Moser v. Marsden (1897), 13 (e) Ibid. s. 32 ; Halsey v. R. P. C. 24; Johnson's Patent Brotherhood (1881), 19 Ch. D. (1897), 13 R. P. C. 660.
386 ; Skinner v. Shau,  i Ch. (c) Ibid. s. 31 ; Cole v. Saqui 413. (1889), 40 Ch. D. 132.
The true nature and extent of copyright were not, however, finally settled by the statute of Queen Anne. For it was left in uncertainty, whether, at the common law, and independently of that statute, an author did or did not possess an exclusive privilege (without limitation in point of time) of publishing and republishing his own works ; and whether supposing that he did, the statute had not permitted that privilege to remain without abridgment the limitation which it contained in point of time being thought by some to apply to the new statutory protection only, and not to the old common law right itself. These questions were not set at rest until the year 1774, when it was solemnly decided, that any exclusive privilege whieh may have belonged at the common law to authors in respect of their works was at any rate taken away by the legislative enactments above mentioned, and that these statutes thenceforth constituted the only basis on which a claim to copyright could rest (g).
(f) Jefferys v. Boosey (1854), 4 H. L. C. 815.
(g) Donaldson v. Beckett (1774), 2 Bro. P. C. 145; 4 Burr. 2408 ;
Jefferys v. Boosey (1854), 4 H. L. C. 815; Tuck v. Priester (1887), 19 Q. B. D. 48, 629.
Afterwards, in the reign of George the Third, the period of literary proprietorship was extended by Acts, which conferred upon the author an exclusive right for twentyeight years instead of fourteen, and, in the event of his surviving that term, then for the residue of his natural life.
General rights under Copyright Act, 1842. The law of copyright, however, is now mainly regulated by the Copyright Act, 1842, which has repealed the earlier Acts, and has provided in favour of authors) that the copyright of every book (under which word is included, in the construction of the Act, “every volume, part or division of a volume, pamphlet, sheet of letter-press, sheet of music, map, chart, or plan, separately published in the United Kingdom ”) (h), which shall be published in the lifetime of its author, whether a subject of the Crown or not (i), shall endure for his natural life, and for seven years longer ; or if the seven years shall expire before the end of forty-two years from the first publication, then for such period of forty-two years ; and that when the work is posthumous, the copyright shall 'endure for forty-two years from the first publication, and shall belong to the proprietor of the author's manuscript.
Copyright is personal property (k); and as regards articles which are first published in periodical works, the copyright (unless there is some agreement to the contrary) remains vested in the author (l).
The Copyright Act, 1812, gives to the proprietor of a copyright infringed, by the book being unlawfully printed within the British Dominions, a remedy by action, to be commenced within twelve calendar months; and such action is to recover damages for the injury already suffered,
(h) Section 2.
(i) Routledge v. Low (1868), L. R. 3 H. L. C. 100.
() Copyright Act, 1842, s. 25.
(l) Sweet v. Benning (1855), 16 C. B. 459; Walter v. Howe (1881), 17 Ch. D. 708.
and an injunction to prevent the continuance of the infringement or piracy. As regards books unlawfully reprinted in any place out of the British Dominions, and imported into the United Kingdom, they may be seized as forfeited, by any officer of the customs or excise, and the offenders are liable to penalties (m). The statute has also authorized, in every case of copyright, the registration by the proprietor of his title at Stationers' Hall (n); and it provides, that, without previous registration, no action or other proceeding shall be commenced, though an omission to register is not otherwise to affect the copyright itself. And a wrongful registration of copyright may be expunged (o).
In an action for infringement of registered copyright, if the defendant proposes to defend the action, he must give the plaintiff notice in writing of the particulars of any objections on which he means to rely at the trial ; and if his defence be, that the plaintiff was not the author or first publisher, or is not the proprietor, or that some other person was or is so, then the defendant must include such particulars in his notice of objections, or otherwise he may give no evidence at the trial that the plaintiff was not the author or first publisher, or was or is not the proprietor (p). And here we may observe, that it is no violation of the copyright in a novel to dramatise it for the stage (9) ; also, that some amount of copying by one author from another is permissible, the question being in all cases one of degree, depending on whether the copying amounts to a substantial taking by the one author of the labours of the other (r). An action for infringement will
(m) See Boosey v. Whight,  1 Ch. 122; Hildesheimer v. Faulk. ner,  2 Ch. 552.
(n) Section 11; Mathieson v. Harrod (1869), L. R. 7 Eq. 270.
(o) Section 14; Ex parte David. son (1853), 2 El. & Bl. 577.
(p) Section 16.
(Q) Reade v. Conquest (1861), 9 C. B. (n.s.) 755 ; but see Warne v. Seebohm (1888), 39 Ch. D. 73.
(r) Sweet v. Benning (1855), 16 C. B. 459 ; Dicks v. Yates (1881), 18 Ch. D. 76, 90; Maple & Co. v. Junior Army and Navy Stores (1982), 21 Ch. D. 369.
lie to restrain even a gratuitous distribution of written copies of the work (s).
Assignment of right.-An assignment of copyright may be by writing under the hand, without being also under the seal, of the proprietor, it being enacted by the Copyright Act, 1842, s. 13, that an assignment, properly entered in the book of registry at Stationers' Hall, shall be as effectual as if made by deed, and shall be exempt from the payment of any stamp or other duty (t). Doubtless an author may:(as in the case of patent rights) license (that is to say, authorize) any reproduction of his works ; and the Copyright Act, 1842, provides for a sort of compulsory licence, having enacted, that it shall be lawful for the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, on complaint made to them that the proprietor of a copyright, (after the death of the author,) has refused to republish or allow the republication of any book, by reason wchereof the work is withheld from the public, to grant a licence authorizing the complainant to publish, on such conditions as such committee may think fit.
Works not capable of copyright. --No copyright can be claimed in any production which is immoral, blasphemous, or seditious in its tendency, or which is defamatory of private character (u), or which (with a view to defraud the public) is published as the work of one who is not in truth the author (.c). Copyright may exist in the mere title of a book (y), at least, a quasi-copyright by time and use, but not by mere registration, may exist therein (2); also, in
(8) Novello v. Sudlow (1852), 12 C. B. 177.
(C) Cumberland v. Planché(1832), 1 A. & E. 580.
(u) Lawrence v. Smith (1822), Jac. 472; Walcot v. Walker (1802), 7 Ves. 1.
(2) Wright v. Tallis (1845), 1 C. B. 893.
(y) Weldon v. Dicks (1879), 10 Ch. D. 247 ; Dicks v. Yates (1881), 18 Ch. D. 76.
(z) Licensed Victuallers' News. paper Co. v. Bingham (1888), 38 Ch. D. 139; Schove v. Schmincke (1886), 33 Ch. D. 546.