Compendium of U.S. Copyright Practices, 3rd Edition

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621.9 Examination Guidelines: Limitation of Claim

621.9 Examination Guidelines: Limitation of Claim

This Section discusses the U.S. Copyright Office’s practices and procedures for examining applications for derivative works, compilations, collective works, or any other work that contains an appreciable amount of unclaimable material.

As a general rule, “[a]ny substantive editing of authorship and/or new matter statements and/or material excluded from claim statements, will be done only after contacting the applicant for permission to amend the information” set forth in that portion of the application. Online Registration to Claims of Copyright, 72 Fed. Reg. 36,883, 36,887 (July 6, 2007). In some cases, the registration specialist may annotate the registration record to clarify the extent of the claim and to identify material that should be excluded from the claim. In other cases, the scope of the claim may be clear from the face of the application, even though the application is incomplete or has been completed incorrectly. If the scope of the claim is unclear and the issue cannot be addressed with an annotation, the registration specialist will communicate with the applicant.

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