Copyright Compendium

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721.9 (G) Limiting the Claim to Copyright in a Computer Program

 

721.9 (G) Limiting the Claim to Copyright in a Computer Program

 

If the computer program contains an appreciable amount of unclaimable material, the applicant should exclude that material from the claim. As discussed in Section 721.8, this category includes previously published material, previously registered material, public domain material, or copyrightable material that is owned by a party other than the copyright claimant.

 

When completing an online application, the applicant should provide a brief statement that identifies the unclaimable material that appears in the program. Specifically, the applicant should provide this information on the Limitation of Claim screen by checking one or more of the boxes that appear in the Material Excluded field that accurately describe the unclaimable material. When completing a paper application, the applicant should provide this information on space 6 (A) of Form TX. For guidance on completing this portion of the application, see Chapter 600, Section 621.8 (B).

 

In addition, the applicant should provide a brief statement that identifies the new material that the applicant intends to register. When completing an online application, the applicant should provide this information on the Limitation of Claim screen by checking one or more of the boxes that appear in the New Material Included field that accurately describe the new material that the author created. When completing a paper application, the applicant should provide this information on space 6 (B) of Form TX. For guidance on completing this portion of the application, see Chapter 600, Section 621.8 (C).

 

The statement that the applicant provides in the New Material Included field should be identical to the statement that the applicant provided in the Author Created field. Likewise, the statement that the applicant provides in space 6 (B) of the paper application should be identical to the statement that the applicant provides in space 2. Together, these statements define the claim in a derivative computer program.

 

If the program contains an appreciable amount of material that has been previously registered with the U.S. Copyright Office, the applicant should identify the registration number for that material and the year that the registration was issued. When completing an online application, the applicant should provide this information on the Limitation of Claim screen in the field marked Previous Registration. When completing a paper application, the applicant should provide this information on space 5 of Form TX. For guidance on completing this portion of the application, see Chapter 600, Section 621.8 (F).