Copyright Compendium

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1212.8 (C) Description Limits the Claim with No Indication of Preexisting Material

1212.8 (C) Description Limits the Claim with No Indication of Preexisting Material


The U.S. Copyright Office’s regulations require applicants to register a single claim in the most complete form of the mask work in existence at the time of registration, so long as the elements claimed are original and have not previously been commercially exploited or previously been registered. Applicants may not divide a single mask work into multiple registrations unless different portions of the mask work were first commercially exploited on different dates. See 37 C.F.R. § 211.4 (D). There is one exception: a 1991 amendment to the regulations permits separate registrations of an unpersonalized gate array and the custom metallization layer(s) despite the existence of a completed final form that combines the two. 37 C.F.R. § 211.4 (C) (2).