621.9(J) Reference to Previous Registration Clearly Erroneous
Where the applicant provides a number in the Previous Registration field/space, but the number is clearly erroneous or does not relate to a registration issued by the U.S. Copyright Office, the registration specialist may annotate the registration record and register the claim without communicating with the applicant. If the applicant provides an erroneous number and checks the “yes” box on space 5 of a paper application, the specialist may ask the applicant for permission to remove that number from the registration record and to change the answer on space 5 from “yes” to “no.”
• Lois Lanier submits an application for a product logo. In the Previous Registration field, the applicant provides a U.S. trademark registration number. The specialist will add an annotation to the registration record, such as: “Regarding previous registration: Applicant gives RN 1234567, which is not a Copyright Office registration number.”
• Joshua Steinberg submits an online application for a screenplay. In the Note to Copyright Office field the applicant states “that work has been registered with the Screenwriters Guild.” Because this statement is considered superfluous, the registration specialist will register the claim without communicating with the applicant.
• Saskatoon Scriveners submits a paper application to register an anthology of short stories by a Canadian author. The applicant checks the “yes” box on space 5 of the application indicating that the work has been previously registered. In a cover letter, the applicant explains that the work has been registered in Canada and a copy of the Canadian registration is included with the application. The registration specialist will ask for permission to remove the reference to the Canadian registration by changing the answer on space 5 of the application from “yes” to “no.”