Claim terms in Patent documents

Patent Application Words Meaning

Patent Application Words Meaning – The Broadest Reasonable Interpretation

The words (or terms) used to outline and describe the claims of your patent application may be interpreted differently by different people. How is this resolved by the USPTO?

During USPTO examination, the Patent Application words (meaning of the claims term) must be “given their broadest reasonable interpretation consistent with the specification,” Phillips v. AWH Corp., 415 F.3d 1303, 1316, 75 USPQ2d 1321, 1329 (Fed. Cir. 2005).

The broadest reasonable construction of the claims is determined “in light of the specification as it would be interpreted by one of ordinary skill in the art.” In re Am. Acad. of Sci. Tech. Ctr., 367 F.3d 1359, 1364 (Fed. Cir. 2004).

The USPTO Manual of Patent Examining Procedure, in part, reads, “The broadest reasonable interpretation does not mean the broadest possible interpretation. Rather, the meaning given to a claim term must be consistent with the ordinary and customary meaning of the term (unless the term has been given a special definition in the specification), and must be consistent with the use of the claim term in the specification and drawings. Further, the broadest reasonable interpretation of the claims must be consistent with the interpretation that those skilled in the art would reach.”

Plain Meaning of the Patent Application’s words

Under a broadest reasonable interpretation (BRI), words of the claim must be given their plain meaning, unless such meaning is inconsistent with the specification. The plain meaning of a term means the ordinary and customary meaning given to the term by those of ordinary skill in the art at the relevant time.

The ordinary and customary meaning of a term may be evidenced by a variety of sources, including the words of the claims themselves, the specification, drawings, and prior art. However, the best source for determining the meaning of a claim term is the specification – the greatest clarity is obtained when the specification serves as a glossary for the claim terms. The words of the claim must be given their plain meaning unless the plain meaning is inconsistent with the specification. In re Zletz, 893 F.2d 319, 321, 13 USPQ2d 1320, 1322 (Fed. Cir. 1989).

“[T]he ordinary and customary meaning of a claim term is the meaning that the term would have to a person of ordinary skill in the art in question at the time of the invention, i.e., as of the effective filing date of the patent application.” Phillips v. AWH Corp.

The USPTO Manual of Patent Examining Procedure, in part, reads, “The ordinary and customary meaning of a term may be evidenced by a variety of sources, including the words of the claims themselves, the specification, drawings, and prior art. However, the best source for determining the meaning of a claim term is the specification – the greatest clarity is obtained when the specification serves as a glossary for the claim terms.”

Patent Application Words Meaning – Explicit Definition

Where an explicit definition is provided by the applicant for a term, that definition will control interpretation of the term as it is used in the claim. Toro Co. v. White Consolidated Industries Inc., 199 F.3d 1295, 1301, 53 USPQ2d 1065, 1069 (Fed. Cir. 1999)

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Trademark Examiner's Amendment

Should You Accept a Trademark Examiner’s Amendment?

Trademark Examiner’s Amendment of Application

A Trademark Examiner’s amendment is sometimes suggested and/or required during examination a US Trademark Application*.

Some Examiner’s amendments will alter the scope of rights associated with a future Trademark Registration. Other Trademark Examiner’s amendments will not modify the scope of rights associated with a future Trademark Registration.

Whether or not to accept the Trademark Examiner’s amendment is a business decision.

Potential Consequences of an Amendment

Applicant’s acceptance of the Trademark Examiner’s amendment generally results in Trademark Registration for the Applicant.

Failure to agree to the Examiner’s amendment can result in:

  • Legal arguments that the Examiner’s suggested amendment is inappropriate
  • A refusal to register the Trademark and the loss of long-term federal rights associated with a US Registration
  • An appeal to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board where the Applicant can lose the appeal
  • Filing a new Application to register the Trademark, where the new Application is modified from the previously filed Trademark Application

About Section 707 – TMEP – Examiner’s Amendment*

Examples of Section 707 relevant procedures for Trademark Examiners include:

  • An Examiner’s amendment should be used whenever appropriate to expedite prosecution of an Application
  • An Examiner’s amendment is a communication to the Applicant in which the examining attorney states that the Application has been amended in a specified way
  • Except in the situations listed in TMEP §707.02, the amendment must be specifically authorized by the individual Applicant, someone with legal authority to bind a juristic Applicant 700-20 October 2010 (e.g., an officer of a corporation or general partner of a partnership), or the applicant’s qualified practitioner
  • Except in the situations set forth in TMEP §707.02 in which an examiner’s amendment is permitted without prior authorization by the Applicant, an examining attorney may amend an application by examiner’s amendment only after securing approval of the amendment from the individual Applicant, someone with legal authority to bind a juristic Applicant, or the Applicant’s qualified practitioner by telephone, e-mail, or in person during an interview. Cf. 37 C.F.R. §§2.62(b) and 2.74(b)
  • If the Applicant has a qualified practitioner, the examining attorney must speak directly with the practitioner
  • If the Applicant is pro se, the examining attorney must speak directly with the individual Applicant or with someone with legal authority to bind a juristic Applicant (e.g., a corporate officer or general partner of a partnership)
  • For joint Applicants who are not represented by a qualified practitioner, each joint Applicant must authorize the examiner’s amendment

*Along with Trademarks, the USPTO Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (TME) also applies to Service Mark Applications.

If your company needs assistance with its Trademarks/Service Marks, please contact Business Patent Law.

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Christmas Patent Products

Patents for Christmas Inventions

Do Investors Get Patents for Christmas Inventions?

Yes, many inventors receive patents for Christmas inventions!

In 2023, US Christmas sales are anticipated to exceed 950 billion dollars. Christmas inventions are a portion of this market. Some inventors hope to seize a portion of those sales.

Examples of Christmas Themed Inventions

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Deadlines and timing of trademarks and service marks

Duration of a US Trademark Registration

The duration of a US Trademark or Service Mark is perpetual; provided the following conditions are met:

  • The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted a federal Registration of the Trademark or Service Mark
  • After registration, the Trademark/Service Mark is not canceled by the USPTO or court order
  • The required government fees are paid in timely manner
  • The required declarations of use are timely filed in USPTO
  • The required evidence of use in commerce regulated by Congress is timely filed in the USPTO

Timing Required to Maintain a Trademark

There is a specific timing of Required Fees, Declarations and Evidence needed to Maintain a US Trademark/Service Mark Registration in full force and effect:

15 U.S.C. §1058. Duration, affidavits and fees

(a) Time periods for required affidavits

Each registration shall remain in force for 10 years, except that the registration of any mark shall be canceled by the Director unless the owner of the registration files in the United States Patent and Trademark Office affidavits that meet the requirements of subsection (b), within the following time periods:

(1) Within the 1-year period immediately preceding the expiration of 6 years following the date of registration under this chapter or the date of the publication under section 1062(c) of this title.

(2) Within the 1-year period immediately preceding the expiration of 10 years following the date of registration, and each successive 10-year period following the date of registration.

(3) The owner may file the affidavit required under this section within the 6-month grace period immediately following the expiration of the periods established in paragraphs (1) and (2), together with the fee described in subsection (b) and the additional grace period surcharge prescribed by the Director.

Illustrations of Timely Filings

To preserve the duration of a US Trademark Registration you must do the following:

  • Between fifth and sixth year subsequent to registration, file required fees, declarations and evidence of use in USPTO
  • Between ninth and tenth year subsequent to registration, file required fees, declarations and evidence of use in USPTO
  • Between nineteenth and twentieth year subsequent to registration, file required fees, declarations and evidence of use in USPTO
  • ***Subsequent to the ninth year USPTO filings, every tenth year interval, i.e, 19, 29th, 39th, etc. from the registration date

If your company needs assistance with its Trademarks/Service Marks, please contact Business Patent Law, PLLC.

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Patent drawings for patent application and replacement drawings after notice of allowance

Replacement Drawings After a Notice of Allowance?

Can the USPTO Require Replacement Drawings?

YES.

Some Applicants for US Patents represent themselves and, on occasion, the pro se Applicant successfully argues to the Examiner that the Application’s claims are patentable.

Other Applicants are represented by patent professionals and (due to various national and international deadlines) a complete but not pristine Patent Application that obtains a filing date is filed in the USPTO.

For some Patent Applications, Examiners issue a Notice of Allowance where the Issue Fee must be paid by a specified date. After the Examiner’s issues the Notice of Allowance, the Application is transferred to the Publications Branch of the USPTO. It is here that a replacement drawing may be required.

Code of Federal Regulations for Utility Patent Application Drawings

37 Code Federal Regulations 1.84 (a) (1), in part, reads, “37 C.F.R. 1.84 Standards for drawings.  (1) Black ink.  Black and white drawings are normally required. India ink, or its equivalent that secures solid black lines, must be used for drawings”.

After receiving the allowed Patent Application from the Examiner, the Publications Branch can require correction of a part of the Application, such as the Drawings. For instance, when Applicants have not filed the required black and white line drawings in the as-filed Application, but rather used photographs or non-line computer generated images to obtain a filing date.

Most of the time, the drawings are replaced before the Notice of Allowance is granted. However, occasionally, the black and white line drawings are required after the Notice of Allowance and before the grant of the Patent.

Patent drawings for replacement drawings after notice of allowance

Replacement Drawings for Utility Patent Applications

A part of the Notice for Corrected Application Papers looks something like the example below.

Notice to File Corrected Application Papers for Patent

In the Notice to File Correction Application Papers, the Publication Branch of the USPTO requires replacement black and white line drawings before the Patent Application will be granted. One or more as-filed figures need to be replaced by black and white line drawings.

To properly respond to the Notice to File Correction Application Papers – Drawings, the Applicant must file the required black and white line drawings within the allotted time identified on the Notice to File Correction Application Papers.

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Abandoned Patent Application

Is An Abandoned Patent Application Public?

How Does a Patent Application Become Abandoned?

An abandoned Patent Application occurs when the Applicant does not meet United States Patent Office’s (USPTO) requirements in responding to the USPTO.

Are They Public Record?

Does an abandoned US Patent become public record when it is abandoned?  It depends!  For national security reasons, some Patents are kept top secret.

With the exception of top secret Patents, when a US Patent is granted the contents of the granted Patent’s USPTO file wrapper become public record.

As a general rule:

  1. When a US Patent Application is abandoned, the USPTO file wrapper for the US Patent Application does not become public record.
  2. A US Provisional Patent Application does not become public record.

Existing Patent Applications Available to the Public Include:

  • Published Patent Applications
  • Reissue Patent Applications
  • Documents that were sealed as a condition of filing the Patent Application
  • Arbitration records associated with a Patent Trademark Trial and Appeal Board proceeding
  • All documents and evidence entered in a US Patent’s Reexamination Proceedings’ records

Abandoned Patent Applications Available to the Public

  • Unpublished abandoned applications (including provisional applications) that are identified or relied upon
  • Unpublished pending applications (including provisional applications) whose benefit is claimed
  • Unpublished pending applications (including provisional applications) that are incorporated by reference or otherwise identified

USPTO Legal Authority Regarding Public Records of Patent Applications

37 Code of Federal Regulations Section 1.11

37 Code of Federal Regulations Section 1.14

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Trade Secrets - What are they and how do you protect them

What Are Trade Secrets?

Trade Secrets

Trade Secrets are a type of intellectual property that can be of great value to the owner over a period of years. For something to be a Trade Secret, it must be kept secret. Public disclosure of a Trade Secret destroys the value of the Trade Secret.

Depending on the circumstances associated with the Trade Secret, federal (18 U.S.C 1831-1839), State or common law may determine the rights of the owner of the Trade Secret. 18 U.S.C 1831-1839, for instance, has both criminal and civil provisions.

Forty-eight of the 50 States have adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA) which became the law of those States.

Definitions of Trade Secrets

U.S.C. 1939 (3) reads:

“…(3) the term “trade secret” means all forms and types of financial, business, scientific, technical, economic, or engineering information, including patterns, plans, compilations, program devices, formulas, designs, prototypes, methods, techniques, processes, procedures, programs, or codes, whether tangible or intangible, and whether or how stored, compiled, or memorialized physically, electronically, graphically, photographically, or in writing if—

          (A)    the owner thereof has taken reasonable measures to keep such information secret; and

          (B)    the information derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable through proper means by, another person who can obtain economic value from the disclosure or use of the information;…”

The UTSA defines “trade secret” as:

“”Trade secret” means information, including but not limited to, a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process, that:

  1. Derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable by proper means by, other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use, and
  2. Is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy.”

What is misappropriation?

 18 U.S.C. 1939 (5 & 6) read:

 (5)   the term “misappropriation” means—

          (A)    acquisition of a trade secret of another by a person who knows or has reason to know that the trade secret was acquired by improper means; or

          (B)    disclosure or use of a trade secret of another without express or implied consent by a person who—

                    (i)     used improper means to acquire knowledge of the trade secret;

                    (ii)    at the time of disclosure or use, knew or had reason to know that the knowledge of the trade secret was—

                              (I)     derived from or through a person who had used improper means to acquire the trade secret;

                              (II)   acquired under circumstances giving rise to a duty to maintain the secrecy of the trade secret or limit the use of the trade secret; or

                              (III)  derived from or through a person who owed a duty to the person seeking relief to maintain the secrecy of the trade secret or limit the use of the trade secret; or

                    (iii)   before a material change of the position of the person, knew or had reason to know that—

                              (I)     the trade secret was a trade secret; and

                              (II)   knowledge of the trade secret had been acquired by accident or mistake;

What are Improper Means?

 (6)    the term “improper means”—

          (A)    includes theft, bribery, misrepresentation, breach or inducement of a breach of a duty to maintain secrecy, or espionage through electronic or other means; and

          (B)    does not include reverse engineering, independent derivation, or any other lawful means of acquisition;…”

The UTSA Defines “Improper Means” and “Misappropriation”

(1)     “Improper means” includes theft, bribery, misrepresentation, breach or inducement of a breach of a duty to maintain secrecy, or espionage through electronic or other means;

(2)     “Misappropriation” means:

(a)     Acquisition of a trade secret of another by a person who knows or has reason to know that the trade secret was acquired by improper means; or

(b)     Disclosure or use of a trade secret of another without express or implied consent by a person who:

    1. Used improper means to acquire knowledge of the trade secret; or
    2. At the time of disclosure or use, knew or had reason to know that his knowledge of the trade secret was:
    3. Derived from or through a person who had utilized improper means to acquire it;
    4. Acquired under circumstances giving rise to a duty to maintain its secrecy or limit its use; or
    5. Derived from or through a person who owed a duty to the person seeking relief to maintain its secrecy or limit its use; or
    6. Before a material change of his position, knew or had reason to know that it was a trade secret and that knowledge of it had been acquired by accident or mistake.

If your company needs assistance protecting its Trade Secrets, please contact Business Patent Law, PLLC.

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Golf-Experts-Legal

Legal Experts For Golf?

Yes, legal experts for golf … really!  How could this ever happen?

The Background

Three promotors joined forces to promote a regional golf tournament for charity. The United States Golf Association rules controlled the rules of play for the tournament. Contestants paid an entry fee to play in the golf tournament. The winner of each flight was guaranteed a golf-related prize and the overall low-stroke winner was guaranteed a modest monetary prize.  The majority of the entry fees were to be donated to charity.

In addition (and separate from the tournament) each entrant was given one chance to make a hole-in-one. If any entrant made a hole-in-one, the reward was $10 million dollars. The host golf club listed the potential hole-in-one shot as a 366 yard par 4 with a dogleg left.

The “Hole-in-One”

One of the entrants took his stance in the tee box and drove his golf ball toward the hole. The golf ball struck a sprinkler head, made an unusually large bounce toward the green, landed on the green, and ultimately trickled into the cup for a hole-in-one. There were at least twenty people who witnessed the hole-in-one. With so many witnesses, how could legal experts for golf be needed?

The Ugly Mess

To say the least, the promoters were shocked that any entrant could make a 366 yard hole-in-one. The promoters turned against each other and refused to pay the $10 million dollars for the “alleged” hole-in-one. The “hole-in-one” had become an ugly mess. The golfer who made the hole-in-one sued the promotors for the promised $10 million dollars. A jury trial followed.

Legal Experts For Golf

Both the golfer making the hole-in-one and the promoters hired legal experts who were qualified at trial to testify in their respective fields.

Promoter Expert 1

The Cincinnati expert held several Patents for Global Positioning System devices including software. Because of the hole’s dogleg, the Cincinnati expert testified that golf ball only travelled 299 yards from tee to hole and not 366 yards as required by the promoters.

Golfer Expert

The Louisville expert was chief grounds keeper for a Louisville golf club. Using the path played by the most players yardage measurement, the Louisville expert testified the golf ball actually traveled 369 yards from tee to cup. Patented reel, tape and rods were used to determine the golf ball’s yardage.

Promoter Expert 2

The Lexington expert was a club professional. The Lexington expert testified that the Golfer’s expert used an incorrect measurement for the played by most players yardage measurement and the golf ball actually traveled only 354 yards from tee to cup. Stated simply, the Louisville expert had utilized incorrect lines to measure the doglegged hole. A patented state-of-the laser and corresponding rods was used to calculate the golf ball’s yardage.

Promoter Expert 3

The Indianapolis expert was an independent contractor supplying data to the United States Golf Association. The Indianapolis expert testified:  along with being witnessed by others, a round of at least nine holes must be played before a hole-in-one becomes valid. Thus, the one-shot only alleged “hole-in-one” was not in fact a hole-in-one.

Once this evidence is presented, it is up to a jury to determine which expert is most convincing in this case by a preponderance of the evidence. How do YOU think a jury would decide?

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Patent Enablement and the Supreme Court's Ruling

Patent Enablement

Patent Enablement

What is “Patent Enablement” and is it required to procure a Patent?

For a Patent to be valid, the Patent’s Specification shall, “contain a written description of the invention, and of the manner and process of making and using it, in such full, clear, concise, and exact terms as to enable any person skilled in the art to which it pertains, or with which it is most nearly connected, to make and use the same, and shall set forth the best mode contemplated by the inventor or joint inventor of carrying out the invention.”

-35 United States Code 112(a)

Defendants in a patent infringement suit can argue that the Patent is invalid because it does not enable one skilled in the art to make or use the invention claimed. In short, the Patent is missing Patent enablement.

What the US Supreme Court Says About Patent Enablement

The United States Supreme Court Revisits Patent Enablement in Amgen Inc. et al. v. Sanofi et al (May 18, 2023)

Justice Gorsuch delivered a unanimous decision of the United States Supreme Court.

On pages 5-6, the Court writes:

“The case comes to us this way. Several years ago, petitioners (Amgen) obtained two patents. Together, these patents claim a monopoly over all antibodies that (1) bind to specific amino acids on a naturally occurring protein known as PCSK9, and (2) block PCSK9 from impairing the body’s mechanism for removing LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream. Soon after receiving these patents, Amgen sued respondents (Sanofi) for infringement. In response, Sanofi argued that the patents were invalid under §112 of the Patent Act. That provision requires a patent applicant to describe its invention “in such full, clear, concise, and exact terms as to enable any person skilled in the art . . . to make and use the [invention].” 35 U. S. C. §112(a). Sanofi contended that Amgen’s patents failed to meet this standard because they sought to claim for Amgen’s exclusive use potentially millions more antibodies than the company had taught scientists to make. In the end, both the district court and Federal Circuit sided with Sanofi. The question we face is whether to disturb their judgment.”

On pages 9-10 of Amgen, it is written:

“As part of its submission to the patent office, Amgen identified the amino acid sequences of 26 antibodies that perform these two functions, and it depicted the three-dimensional structures of two of these 26 antibodies. 987 F.3d, at 1083. But beyond that, Amgen only offered scientists two methods to make other antibodies that perform the binding and blocking functions it described. The first method is what Amgen calls the “roadmap.” Brief for Petitioners 13. At a high level, the roadmap directs scientists to: (1) generate a range of antibodies in the lab; (2) test those antibodies to determine whether any bind to PCSK9; (3) test those antibodies that bind to PCSK9 to determine whether any bind to the sweet spot as described in the claims; and (4) test those antibodies that bind to the sweet spot as described in the claims to determine whether any block PCSK9 from binding to LDL receptors. See id., at 13-14. The second method is what Amgen calls “conservative substitution.” Id., at 14, 17. This technique requires scientists to: (1) start with an antibody known to perform the described functions; (2) replace select amino acids in the antibody with other amino acids known to have similar properties; and (3) test the resulting antibody to see if it also performs the described functions. See id., at 14-15. Amgen Inc. v. Sanofi (2023)”

On page 19, the Court wrote:

“Decisions such as Wood and Minerals Separation establish that a specification may call for a reasonable amount of experimentation to make and use a patented invention. What is reasonable in any case will depend on the nature of the invention and the underlying art. See Minerals Separation, 242 U.S., at 270-271; see also Mowry v. Whitney, 14 Wall. 620, 644 (1872) (“[T]he definiteness of a specification must vary with the nature of its subject. Addressed as it is to those skilled in the art, it may leave something to their skill in applying the invention.”). But in allowing that much tolerance, courts cannot detract from the basic statutory requirement that a patent’s specification describe the invention “in such full, clear, concise, and exact terms as to enable any person skilled in the art” to “make and use” the invention. §112(a). Judges may no more subtract from the requirements for obtaining a patent that Congress has prescribed than they may add to them. See Bilski v. Kappos, 561 U.S. 593, 602-603, 612 (2010). Amgen Inc. v. Sanofi (2023)”

On page 20, Justice Gorsuch concluded:

“While the technology at the heart of this case is thoroughly modern, from the law’s perspective Amgen’s claims bear more than a passing resemblance to those this Court faced long ago in Morse, Incandescent Lamp, and Holland Furniture. Amgen seeks to monopolize an entire class of things defined by their function-every antibody that both binds to particular areas of the sweet spot of PCSK9 and blocks PCSK9 from binding to LDL receptors. The record reflects that this class of antibodies does not include just the 26 that Amgen has described by their amino acid sequences, but a “vast” number of additional antibodies that it has not. 987 F.3d, at 1085, 1088; see 2019 WL 4058927, *8 (“at least millions of candidates”); see also Tr. of Oral Arg. 52-53. Much as Morse sought to claim all telegraphic forms of communication, Sawyer and Man sought to claim all fibrous and textile materials for incandescence, and Perkins sought to claim all starch glues that work as well as animal glue for wood veneering, Amgen seeks to claim “sovereignty over [an] entire kingdom” of antibodies. Incandescent Lamp, 159 U.S., at 476.”

“That poses Amgen with a challenge. For if our cases teach anything, it is that the more a party claims, the broader the monopoly it demands, the more it must enable. That holds true whether the case involves telegraphs devised in the 19th century, glues invented in the 20th, or antibody treatments developed in the 21st. Amgen Inc. v. Sanofi (2023)”

On page 23, Justice Gorsuch held:

“Section 112 of the Patent Act reflects Congress’s judgment that if an inventor claims a lot, but enables only a little, the public does not receive its benefit of the bargain. For more than 150 years, this Court has enforced the statutory enablement requirement according to its terms. If the Court had not done so in Incandescent Lamp, it might have been writing decisions like Holland Furniture in the dark. Today’s case may involve a new technology, but the legal principle is the same. The judgment is Affirmed.”

If you find this a little complex and need assistance to make sure your Patent meets the Patent enablement requirement, please contact Business Patent Law, PLLC.

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Copyright Rules Regulations and Frustrations

Copyright Applications

Copyright Applications

This blog is an expansion of BPL’s July 9, 2020 blog on Copyright Registrations in an effort to further help you understand the copyright process.

It Can Be Complex

The process of applying for a Copyright Registration, according to the United States Code, is as follows:

To procure US Copyright Registrations, the creator/owner of the original work(s) of authorship must be fixed in a tangible medium of expression. 17 United States Code 102.

Simplifying The Code

Let’s consider that statement in normal-speak instead of legalese.

  • The “creator/owner” can be self explanatory, as is the “original work.”
  • Depending on circumstances, the creator is not always the owner.
  • “Authorship” means somebody needs to create the original work.
  • The “tangible medium of expression” can be anything from a physical copy of the work, such as a book or a painting, to a digital copy, such as a computer file or an online video.

With that information, you now know that once there’s a copy of the work (tangible medium of expression), you as the creator/owner will need to file a Copyright Application with the Copyright Office to procure a Copyright Registration.

Benefits Of A Copyright Registration

The application must include information about the work, such as the title, the author, and the date of creation. Once the application is filed, the Copyright Office may issue a Copyright Registration. They usually do, but not always. Also, Copyright Registration is not required to secure a Copyright, but it does provide a number of benefits, including the ability to sue in federal court for Copyright infringement and statutory damages.

Selecting The Correct Copyright Application Form May Not Be Straight Forward

You didn’t expect anything at the Copyright Office to be simple or easy did you? There are different types of authorships which  require different Copyright Office paper forms or digital portals.

Principal Categories of Copyright Applications

  • Literary Works
  • Performing Arts
  • Visual Arts
  • Motion Pictures
  • Digital Works not otherwise categorized
  • Photographs

Copyright Office Forms/Digital Portals

Literary Works (Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Articles, Periodicals)

  • Literary Work (Form TX)
  • Serial Publications (Form SE)
  • Form CON

Performing Arts (Music, Lyrics, Sound Records, Scripts, Stage Plays)

  • Works of the Performing Arts (Form PA)
  • Sound Recordings (Form SR)
  • Form CON

Visual Arts (Artwork, Illustrations, Jewelry, Fabric, Architecture)

  • Visual Arts Work (Form VA)
  • Form CON

Motion Pictures (Movies, TV Shows, Video Games, Animation, Videos)

  • Works of the Performing Arts (Form PA)
  • Form CON

Group Copyright Applications

1. Group Registration for Works on an Album of Music (GRAM) –

Group Registration of musical works, recordings, photos, artwork and liner notes that are published on the same album

2. Group Registration of Short Online Literary Works (GRTX) –

  • Digital Works not otherwise categorized (Computer Programs, Databases, Blogs, Websites)
  • Group Registration of Published Photographs
  • Group Registration of Short Online Literary Works

3. Group Registration of Unpublished Works (GRUW) –

  • Photographs (News Photographs, Selfies, Wedding Photographs, Family Photographs)
  • Photographic Databases

If you want to secure a copyright on your original works and need assistance filing your Copyright Applications, contact BPL we would be happy to handle this task for you.

Ask Us Anything… about Intellectual Property!

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