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ABSTRACTIONS TEST

abstractions  test.Copyright.  A  means  of  comparing  copyrighted  material  with  material  that

allegedly  infringes the  copyright by  examining  whether  the  actual  substance  has  been  copied  or

whether  the  two  works  merely  share  the  same  abstract  ideas.  •  The  primary  authority  for  the

abstractions test is Judge Learned Hand’s opinion in Nichols v. Universal Pictures Corp., 45 F.2d

119 (2d Cir. 1930). Although referred to as a “test,” it is not a bright-line test, but an approach to

discerning  the  boundaries  of  protectable  expression  by  isolating  and  comparing  each  level  of

abstraction in the two works, from the lowest (most detailed) to the highest (most conceptual). Cf.

ABSTRACTION-FILTRATION-COMPARISON   TEST;   LOOK-AND-FEEL   TEST.   [Cases:

Copyrights and Intellectual Property    53(1).] [Blacks Law 8th]