On September 23, 2020, Netflix released the “Enola Holmes” movie despite being embroiled in a lawsuit for alleged copyright and trademark infringement brought by the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (the author of the Sherlock Holmes novels). “Enola Holmes” is a film based on a book about the life of Sherlock Holmes’ younger sister. The movie stars actress Millie Bobby Brown as Enola, and Henry Cavill as Sherlock Holmes. In the complaint, the estate argues that although most of the Holmes novels are in the public domain, Doyle only began to give Holmes true human emotion in the last ten stories (which are still protected). The estate claims that this emotion, which is portrayed by the character in the movie, is protected expression.
This post was originally published on the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal website on October 19, 2020. The original post can be accessed via the Archived Link button above.
Siozios, Dionissia, "Emotions, My Dear Watson: Dissecting Copyright/Trademark Infringement in Netflix’s Portrayal of Sherlock Holmes" (2020). AELJ Blog. 248.