merger doctrine. 1.Copyright. The principle that since an idea cannot be copyrighted, neither can an expression that must inevitably be used in order to express the idea. • When the idea and expression are very difficult to separate, they are said to merge. For example, courts have refused copyright protection for business-ledger forms (Baker v. Selden, 101 U.S. 99 (1879)), and for contest rules that were copied almost verbatim (Morrissey v. Procter & Gamble, 379 F.2d 675 (1st Cir. 1967)). — Also termed Baker v. Selden doctrine. [Cases: Copyrights and Intellectual Property 4.5. C.J.S. Copyrights and Intellectual Property § 10.] 2.Hist. Family law. The common-law principle that, upon marriage, the husband and wife combined to form one legal entity. — Often shortened to merger. See SPOUSAL-UNITY DOCTRINE ; LEGAL-UNITIES DOCTRINE.
[Blacks Law 8th]