2310.9 Examination Guidelines
To record a notice of termination, the terminating party must submit an exact duplicate of the notice that was served on the grantee or the grantee’s successor in title. The copy must include either an actual signature or an acceptable reproduction of an actual signature, a statement setting forth the date the notice was served, an indication of the manner of service, and must be submitted together with the appropriate filing fee. The recordation specialist will review a notice of termination for each of these elements and may refuse to record the notice if any of them are missing.
Failing to serve and record a notice of termination in a timely manner is a fatal mistake that prevents the termination from taking effect. Therefore, the specialist will examine each notice to confirm that the relevant statutory deadlines have been met. However, the specialist will not attempt to confirm the validity of the alleged facts that are set forth in a notice.
The Office may refuse to record a document as a notice of termination if the notice appears to be untimely. In such cases, the recordation specialist will take the following actions:
• If the notice is premature, the specialist will return it to the remitter so that the notice may be resubmitted within the proper statutory window.
• If the notice is late, the specialist will offer to record and index it as a document pertaining to copyright under Section 205 (A) of the Copyright Act. The specialist will not record the document as a notice of termination, meaning that it will not be indexed as such.
The following are representative examples of situations where a notice of termination may be considered untimely:
• The effective date of termination does not fall within the five-year termination period specified in Section 203 (A) (3), 304 (C) (3), or 304 (D) (2).
• The document indicates that the notice of termination was served less than two or more than ten years before the effective date of termination.
• The document was received by the Office on or after the effective date of termination.
• The notice of termination was issued under Section 203, but the document indicates that the date of execution for the grant falls before January 1, 1978.