CITE: 161 F.2d 910
CMON: June 1947
PLAIN: Brown Instrument
DEFND: Warner, Register of Copyrights
COURT: United States Court of Appeals District of Columbia 
DATE: June 2, 1947

Appellant manufactures apparatus for mechanically recording such variables
as temperature and pressure.  The record is in the form of a line drawn
by mechanical means on a calibrated graphic chart. The chart occupies a
critical position in relation to, and co-acts with, the rest of the
apparatus in the drawing of this line.  Appellant undertook to copyright
such charts. The Register of Copyrights rejected the application.  Appellant
then brought this suit against the Register for a declaratory judgment
and a mandatory injunction. This appeal is from a judgment for the Register.
  Articles intended for practical use in cooperation with a machine are
  not copyrightable. To copyright such articles would in effect continue
  monopoly of a machines beyond the time authorized by the patent law.
  Cites White-Smith.

JUDGES: EDGERTON, Associate Justice
Before GRONER, Chief Justice, and EDGERTON and CLARK, Associate justices.
The District Court found as facts that '4. The 83 charts in suit function
as working mechanical elements of and essential parts of recording machines
manufactured by plaintiff.  5.  The printed matter on the 83 charts in
suit constitutes blank graph paper ruled according to the mechanical
characteristics of the particular machines in which each is intended
to be used.  6.  The charts in suit were based upon mathematical or
scientific calculations, but their object is for use as parts of the
plaintiff's machines and not for the purpose of giving information.
7. Plaintiff has failed to establish that its charts are 'writings of an
author' or 'drawings' within the meaning of the Constitution and the
copyright statute, or that said charts convey or are capable of conveying
the thought of an author. 8.  It is perhaps possible for one skilled in
the art to deduce with more or less accuracy the data or specifications
upon which the charts are based, but the real information that is to be
given is that which would be given by curves made by the stylus of
plaintiff's recording instruments when put in operation by the purchaser
of such instruments.' The court concluded that the charts were not
The evidence supports the findings and the findings require the conclusion.
We agree with the court that the opinion of the Seventh Circuit Court of
Appeals in Taylor Instrument Companies v. Fawley-Brost Co., 7 Cir.,
139 F.2d 98, certiorari denied 321 U.S. 785, 64 S.Ct. 782, 88 L.Ed. 1076,
covers this case and is correct.  We think, moreover, that the case is
controlled by Baker v. Selden, 101 U.S. 99, 25 L.Ed. 841. That case
involved blank forms for use in bookkeeping.  They were intended to be
written on by hand, and the blank forms now in suit are intended to be
written on by a machine, but this difference is immaterial.  Neither sort
of forms is intended to communicate facts or ideas. Both sorts are
intended solely for use in making records of facts.
Articles intended for practical use in cooperation with a machine are
not copyrightable. White-Smith Music Pub. Co. v. Apollo Co., 209 U.S. 1,
28 S.Ct. 319, 52 L.Ed. 655, 14 Ann.Cas. 628. Both law and policy forbid
monopolizing a machine except within the comparatively narrow limits of the
patent system.  In several patents on recording machines, the necessary
printed chart is rightly claimed as one of the operative elements.  Since
the machines which cooperate with the charts in suit are useless without
them, to copyright the charts would in effect continue appellant's monopoly
of its machines beyond the time authorized by the patent law.