1304.4 Registration Requirement and Making Public Requirement
An original vessel design is not protected until it is made public or until the U.S. Copyright Office publishes a registration for the design, whichever date is earlier.
If a design is made public, an application for registration must be filed no later than two years from the date on which the design was made public for the design to retain protection. 17 U.S.C. § 1302 (5).
Making a design public includes publicly exhibiting it, distributing it, offering it for sale, or selling it to the public, whether inside or outside of the United States, with the design owner’s consent. 17 U.S.C. § 1310 (B).
Vessel designs that have not been made public may be protected under Chapter 13 of Title 17, provided that the Office has registered the design.