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

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722 Apps

722 Apps

An “app” is a computer program that is used directly or indirectly in a computer or handheld electronic device. An app may be registered if it contains a sufficient amount of original authorship in the form of statements or instructions that bring about a certain result in the computer or device.

When asserting a claim in an app, the applicant should provide the name of the author who created the work. Specifically, the applicant should provide the name(s) of the person(s) or organization(s) who created the source code for the specific version of the app that the applicant intends to register. In addition, the applicant should provide the name of the claimant who owns the copyright in that version.

“Computer program” is the most appropriate term for registering a claim in an app. As discussed in Section 721.9 (F), this term should be provided in the Author Created field, and if applicable, also in the New Material Included field of the online application. When completing a paper application on Form TX, this information should be provided in space 2, and if applicable, also in space 6 (B).

If the applicant registers the app as a computer program and submits identifying portions of the source code for that program, the registration will cover any copyrightable screen displays generated by that work, provided that the app and the screen displays are owned by the same claimant. If the applicant expressly asserts a claim in the text, artwork, or screen displays generated by an app, the applicant must submit a representative sampling of those screen displays together with the identifying portions of the source code.

For guidance in completing the application, see Section 721.9. For a discussion of the deposit requirements for computer programs and screen displays, see Chapter 1500, Sections 1509.1 (F) (1) through 1509.1 (F) (6).

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