Copyright Compendium

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602.4 (E) Duplicate Claims


602.4 (E) Duplicate Claims


As a general rule, the U.S. Copyright Office will not knowingly issue multiple registrations for the same claim, because this would confuse the public record.


If the Office discovers that an applicant submitted a claim that is an exact duplicate of another claim, the registration specialist may communicate with the applicant or may refuse to register the duplicate claim. The status of the prior claim is irrelevant to this determination. The Office will not knowingly register a duplicate claim, regardless of whether the prior claim is pending or whether it has been registered or refused.


Likewise, if the Office refused registration and if the applicant submitted a request for reconsideration, the Office will not knowingly register a duplicate claim, regardless of whether the request is pending or whether the refusal has been upheld on substantive or procedural grounds.


NOTE: There are three limited exceptions to this rule, which are discussed in Chapter 500, Sections 510.1 through 510.3. The Office may also accept a duplicate claim if the initial claim was closed as a “no reply” because the applicant failed to respond to the registration specialist in a timely manner. For more information, see Section 605.7.


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