Chapter 1300 : 5 12/22/2014
COMPENDIUM: Chapter 1300
1301 What This Chapter Covers
This Chapter provides information on the U.S. Copyright Office’s practices and procedures for examining and registering claims to vessel designs and for recording documents related to them. Vessel designs are protected pursuant to the Vessel Hull Design Protection Act of 1998 (“VHDPA”), as amended by the Vessel Hull Design Protection Amendments of 2008, and codified as Chapter 13 of the Copyright Act.
1302 Vessel Design Protection Distinguished from Copyright Protection
Vessel design protection is not a form of copyright protection. Congress enacted the VHDPA to provide a new, separate form of special protection for vessel designs in response to the needs of the boat industry, not as an amendment to the copyright law. The legal requirements for vessel design protection differ from those for copyright protection in terms of eligibility for protection, ownership rights, registration procedures, term of protection, and remedies for rights violations.
Vessel designs — the overall shape and form of a water craft’s deck or hull — are useful articles and, as such, cannot be protected by copyright law. See Section 1303.7. Purely ornamental two- and three-dimensional decorations on or in the surfaces of the deck or hull might be copyrightable, but the deck and hull themselves are not.
Chapter 13 of Title 17 does not provide, extend, or limit copyright protection for drawings, models, or statuaries of vessels. For more information on protection for ornamental designs, drawings, and other visual arts works, see Chapter 600. For a general discussion of useful articles, see Chapter 900, Section 924.
A “deck” is “the horizontal surface of a vessel that covers the hull, including exterior cabin and cockpit surfaces, and exclusive of masts, sails, yards, rigging, hardware, fixtures, and other attachments.” 17 U.S.C. § 1301(b)(7).
A “hull” is “the exterior frame or body of a vessel, exclusive of the deck, superstructure, masts, sails, yards, rigging, hardware, fixtures, and other attachments.” 17 U.S.C. § 1301(b)(4).Chapter 1300: 6 12/22/2014
1303.3 Make Public
A vessel design is made public “when an existing useful article embodying the design is anywhere publicly exhibited, publicly distributed, or offered for sale or sold to the public by the owner of the design or with the owner’s consent.” 17 U.S.C. § 1310(b).
A “mold” is “a matrix or form in which a substance for material is used, regardless of whether the matrix or form has an intrinsic utilitarian function that is not only to portray the appearance of the product or to convey information.” 17 U.S.C. § 1301(b)(6).
A vessel design is “original” if “it is the result of the designer’s creative endeavor that provides a distinguishable variation over prior work pertaining to similar articles which is more than trivial and has not been copied from another source.” 17 U.S.C. § 1301(b)(1).
A “plug” is “a device or model used to make a mold for the purpose of exact duplication, regardless of whether the device or model has an intrinsic utilitarian function that is not only to portray the appearance of the product or to convey information.” 17 U.S.C. § 1301(b)(5).
1303.7 Useful Article
A “useful article” is “a vessel hull or deck, including a plug or mold, which in normal use has an intrinsic utilitarian function that is not merely to portray the appearance of the article or to convey information. An article which normally is part of a useful article shall be deemed to be a useful article.” 17 U.S.C. § 1301(b)(2).
A vessel is “a craft that is designed and capable of independently steering a course on or through water through its own means of propulsion; and that is designed and capable of carrying and transporting one or more passengers.” 17 U.S.C. § 1301(b)(3).
1304 Protectable Vessel Designs
Chapter 13 of Title 17 protects original designs for vessels that are designed and capable of (i) independently steering a course on or through water through its own means of propulsion, and (ii) carrying and transporting one or more passengers. 17 U.S.C. § 1301. Specifically, Chapter 13 protects the original design of the shape of a vessel hull, deck, or a combination of the two, which makes the article in which the design is incorporated attractive or distinctive in appearance to the purchasing or using public. 17 U.S.C. § 1301(a)(1). This protection includes a plug or mold. 17 U.S.C. § 1301(a)(2). Designers are allowed the option of protecting the hull alone, the deck alone, or the hull and the deck in combination.Chapter 1300: 7 12/22/2014
1304.1 Originality Requirement
To be original, a vessel design must be the result of the designer’s creative endeavor providing a distinguishable variation over prior work, and that variation must be “more than merely trivial” and not “copied from another source.” 17 U.S.C. § 1301(b)(1).
1304.2 Fixation Requirement
An original vessel design must be embodied in an actual vessel. The law does not protect vessel designs that exist only in models, drawings, or representations. See 17 U.S.C. § 1302(5).
1304.3 Revision, Adaptation, or Rearrangement
Protection is available for a design that is a substantial revision, adaptation, or rearrangement of preexisting or ineligible design aspects or matter. Protection for a substantial revision, adaptation, or rearrangement does not extend to any subsisting protection in subject matter employed in the design. 17 U.S.C. § 1303.
1304.4 Registration Requirement and Making Public Requirement
An original vessel design is not protected until it is made public or until the U.S. Copyright Office publishes a registration for the design, whichever date is earlier.
If a design is made public, an application for registration must be filed no later than two years from the date on which the design was made public for the design to retain protection. 17 U.S.C. § 1302(5).
Making a design public includes publicly exhibiting it, distributing it, offering it for sale, or selling it to the public, whether inside or outside of the United States, with the design owner’s consent.17 U.S.C. § 1310(b).
Vessel designs that have not been made public may be protected under Chapter 13 of Title 17, provided that the Office has registered the design.
1305 Ineligible Designs
1305.1 No Retroactive Protection
Protection extends only to vessel designs made public on or after October 28, 1998, the effective date of the VHDPA. See 17 U.S.C. § 1332. The VHDPA does not protect designs made public before that date.
1305.2 Unoriginal Designs
Protection does not extend to any vessel design that is:Chapter 1300: 8 12/22/2014
- Not original.
- Staple or commonplace, such as a standard geometric figure, a familiar symbol, an emblem, or a motif, or another shape, pattern, or configuration which has become standard, common, prevalent, or ordinary.
- Different from a staple or commonplace design, such as a standard geometric figure, a familiar symbol, an emblem, or a motif, or another shape, pattern, or configuration which has become standard, common, prevalent, or ordinary only in insignificant details or in elements which are variants commonly used in the relevant trades.
- Dictated solely by a utilitarian function of the article that embodies it.
17 U.S.C. § 1302(1)-(4).
1305.3 Ineligible Vehicles and Other Useful Articles
Protection does not extend to any vessel design that is not embodied in a “vessel,” such as:
- Sea planes
- Paddle boards
- Surf boards
- Floatable military shooting targets
1305.4 Designs Made Public More Than Two Years Prior to Application for Registration
A vessel design must be registered within two years of being made public or it will lose protection because a design that is embodied in a vessel “that was made public by the designer or owner in the United States or a foreign country more than two years before the date of application for registration” of the design is ineligible for protection.17 U.S.C. § 1302(5).
1305.5 Designs Protected by Design Patents
Vessel designs may not be protected under Chapter 13 of Title 17 if they have design patent protection under Title 35 of the United States Code. 17 U.S.C. § 1329. Vessel design protection under Chapter 13 ceases if and when a U.S. design patent is issued for the design.Chapter 1300: 9 12/22/2014
1306 Term of Protection
1306.1 Term of Protection for Designs Registered with the U.S. Copyright Office
Protection for a registered vessel design lasts ten years from the earlier of (i) the date a registration is published by the U.S. Copyright Office, or (ii) the date the design was first “made public,” whichever is earliest. 17 U.S.C. §§ 1304, 1305(a). The term of protection lasts until the end of the calendar year in which it expires. 17 U.S.C. § 1305(b). As noted in Section 1305.5, protection may terminate earlier if a design patent is issued before the ten-year term expires.
1306.2 Term of Protection for Designs Registered in a Foreign Territory: Priority Claims
If an application is made to register the same design by or on behalf of the same owner in a foreign jurisdiction that provides similar protection to U.S. citizens, that filing has the same effect as if the application is filed in the United States on the date of the foreign filing, provided that the U.S. application is filed within six months of the earliest date of any such foreign filing. 17 U.S.C. § 1311.
1307 Exclusive Rights of Owner
During the term of protection, the vessel design owner has the exclusive rights to:
- Make, have made, or import, for sale or for use in trade, any useful article embodying that design; and
- Sell or distribute for sale or for use in trade any useful article embodying that design.
17 U.S.C. § 1308.
A vessel design owner may initiate an action for infringement of these rights provided that the U.S. Copyright Office has issued a certificate of registration for the design. 17 U.S.C. §§ 1309, 1321(a).
1308 Ownership in Vessel Designs
The intellectual property right in a vessel design vests in one of the following:
- The designer;
- The designer’s legal representative(s), if the designer is deceased or legally incapacitated;
- If the design was made within the regular scope of the designer's employment, the employer for whom the designer created the design; or
- A person to whom the rights of the designer or of such employer have been transferred.
The person in whom the property right vests is considered the owner of the design.
17 U.S.C. § 1320(a).
1308.1 Allowable Transfers, Grants, Conveyances, and Mortgages
The rights in a protectable design may be assigned, granted, conveyed, or mortgaged by the owner to another person or entity. Such an assignment, grant, conveyance or mortgage must be in a writing that is signed by the owner, or it may be bequeathed by will. 17 U.S.C. § 1320(b).
1308.2 Discretionary Recordation of Transfers
Although recordation of transfers is not a condition for protection, the first transfer of ownership shall be void against a subsequent purchaser or mortgagee who obtained the transfer for valuable consideration, unless the first transfer is recorded with the U.S. Copyright Office within three months after it is executed or before the date of a subsequent purchase or mortgage. 17 U.S.C. § 1320(d).
The same conditions and procedures for recording transfers of copyright ownership and other documents pertaining to copyright apply to the recordation of documents pertaining to vessel design protection under Chapter 13. For more information on how to record such documents, see Chapter 2300, Section 2309.
1309 Vessel Design Notice
1309.1 Notice Is Mandatory
Notice on a vessel design is mandatory. Once a design has been made public, a “notice” of design protection must be placed on all vessels that embody the design. 17 U.S.C. § 1306(a). The design notice must be affixed to a location on the vessel in a manner that provides “reasonable notice,” as described below in Section 1309.4, that the vessel contains a protected design. 17 U.S.C. § 1306(b).
1309.2 Required Notice Elements
The elements of a design notice must consist of the following:
- The words “Protected Design”, the abbreviation “Prot’d Des.”, the symbol (i.e., the letter “D” in a circle), or the symbol “*D*”;
- The year in which protection for the design commenced; and
- The name of the owner, an abbreviation by which the owner can be recognized, or a generally accepted alternative designation of the owner.
For registered designs, the registration number may be used in place of both (i) the year in which protection for the design commenced, and (ii) the name of the owner or a Chapter 1300: 11 12/22/2014 generally accepted alternative designation of the owner. 17 U.S.C. § 1306(a); 37 C.F.R. § 212.4(b).
1309.3 Name or Distinctive Identification of Owner
A distinctive identification of the owner may be substituted for the actual name of the owner, provided that the distinctive identification is recorded with the U.S. Copyright Office prior to registration of the design marked with the distinctive identification. 37 C.F.R. § 212.4(c).
To record a distinctive identification of an owner of a vessel design with the Office, the applicant must submit a document that contains the following information:
- The name and address of the owner;
- A statement of the owner that she or he is entitled to use the distinctive identification;
- A statement or description of the identification; and
- The recordation filing fee.
37 C.F.R. § 212.5. The current fee is set forth in the Office’s fee schedule under the heading “Recordation of Documents” (www.copyright.gov/docs/fees.html). For information concerning the methods for paying this fee, see Chapter 1400, Sections 1403.4 and 1403.5.
The document and fee should be mailed to the following address:
Library of Congress U.S. Copyright Office – DOC 101 Independence Avenue SE Washington, DC 20559
1309.4 Placement of Notice
A vessel design notice must be “located and applied as to give reasonable notice of design protection” while the vessel “is passing through its normal channels of commerce.” 17 U.S.C. § 1306(b); 37 C.F.R. § 212.4(a)(1). Further, the notice must be “legible under normal conditions of use, and affixed in such a manner and position that, when affixed, it may be viewed upon reasonable examination.” The notice does not need to be permanently embossed or engraved into the vessel hull or deck, provided it is affixed in a manner that it is not likely to become unattached or illegible under normal conditions of use. 37 C.F.R. § 212.4(a)(2).Chapter 1300: 12 12/22/2014
Examples of acceptable notice locations include:
- In close proximity to the hull identification number;
- In close proximity to the driver's helm console such that it is in plain view from the console;
- If the vessel is twenty feet in length overall or less, in close proximity to the capacity marking plate or notice; or
- In close proximity to the make and/or model designation of the vessel.
37 C.F.R. § 212.4(d).
1310 Importance of Registration
1310.1 Registration Required for Ten-Year Protection
To secure protection of a vessel design for the entire ten-year term, owners must file an application to register the design with the U.S. Copyright Office within two years of the date on which the design was first “made public.” Otherwise, protection under Chapter 13 will be lost. 17 U.S.C. § 1310(a)-(b). For example, a claim in a vessel design that was first made public on October 31, 2013 must be received in the Office prior to or on October 31, 2015 to be protected.
1310.2 Benefits of Registration
After the U.S. Copyright Office issues a certificate of registration, the owner of the vessel design or the exclusive licensee of all rights in the vessel design may institute a civil action for infringement, provided the infringement occurred after the commencement of the term of protection. 17 U.S.C. § 1321(a).
Further, a certificate of registration for a vessel design issued by the Office constitutes prima facie evidence of the facts stated in the certificate. 17 U.S.C. § 1314.
1311 Registration Procedures
The required elements for registration of vessel designs are set forth in Section 1311.1 below. See 17 U.S.C. § 1310; 37 C.F.R. § 212.3(b).
1311.1 Required Elements for Registration
An application to register a vessel design must contain the following elements:
- A completed paper application using Form D-VH;
- A nonrefundable filing fee; and
- Deposit material.
1311.2 Who May File the Application?
An application to register a claim in a vessel design may be filed by (i) the owner or owners of the design, or (ii) the duly authorized agent or representative of the owner or owners of the design. 17 U.S.C. § 1310(c), (e); 37 C.F.R. § 212.3(c).
1311.3 Form D-VH
Applicants must use Form D-VH to register a claim in a vessel design and must use Form D-VH/CON to provide additional information, if necessary. A single Form D-VH may cover one or more designs on a single make or model of a vessel, but the applicant must use a separate continuation Form D-VH/CON for each of the related designs. An applicant must submit separate applications to register multiple designs that are contained on different makes and models of a vessel.
Form D-VH may only be used to register a claim in a vessel design. It cannot be used to register a claim in any other type of work.
- The U.S. Copyright Office will refuse a claim in “technical drawings” of a vessel filed on Form D-VH. A separate copyright claim in drawings may be recommended. For more information on the copyrightability and registrability of claims in drawings, see Chapter 900, Section 922.
- The Office will refuse a claim in “boat design” filed on Form VA and will inquire whether a claim based on “vessel design” may be filed on Form D-VH.
- The Office will refuse a claim for a nautical or maritime “furniture design” filed on Form D-VH. A separate registration for a copyright claim in furniture design may be recommended. For more information on the registration of copyright claims in useful articles, see Chapter 900, Section 924.
- The Office will refuse a Form D-VH that claims in “vessel design, technical drawings, and advertising photos.” The Office will limit the Form D-VH to any eligible vessel design shown in the drawings and photographs. A separate registration for a copyright claim in the drawings and photographs may be recommended. For more information on the registration of copyright claims in drawings and photographs, see Chapter 900, Section 909 and 922.
Forms D-VH and D-VH/CON are both available on the U.S. Copyright Office’s website at www.copyright.gov/forms/formdvh.pdf, and www.copyright.gov/forms/formdvhcon.pdf.
Applicants also may request a hard copy of these forms from the U.S. Copyright Office’s Public Information Office as follows:Chapter 1300: 14 12/22/2014
- By telephone: (202) 707-9100.
- In Person: James Madison Building, Public Information Office, Room LM-401, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, except on federal holidays.
- By U.S. Mail: Library of Congress, U.S. Copyright Office, 101 Independence Avenue, SE, Washington DC 20559-6000.
All forms submitted to the Office must be clear and legible and suitable for automatic feeding through a photocopier. The Office will return forms that do not meet this requirement.
For information on completing Form D-VH, see Section 1312 below.
1311.4 Filing Fees
The current filing fee is set forth in the Office’s fee schedule under the heading “Form D- VH (vessel hull designs)” (www.copyright.gov/docs/fees.html).
For information concerning the methods for paying this fee, see Chapter 1400, Sections 1403.4 and 1403.5.
1311.5 Deposit Material
The applicant must submit deposit with the application, consisting of photographs or drawings that contain all of the claimed aspects of the vessel design.
For information concerning the deposit requirements see Section 1313 below.
1312 Completing the Application
The U.S. Copyright Office evaluates vessel design applications for completeness and sufficiency of the required elements. For detailed information on the registration of vessel designs, see 17 U.S.C. §§ 1310-1315 and the regulations on vessel designs in 37 C.F.R. Part 212.
1312.1 Space 1: Title
The title of a vessel design is comprised of the make and model of the vessel. In space 1, applicants must provide the make and model of the vessel that embodies the claimed design. This information is used to identify and catalog the design.
The make and model information typically consists of the following:
- The name of the manufacturer.
- The model identification, including any descriptive information, such as the general categorization or type of the vessel that is useful to identify the vessel.
If a design is embodied in multiple vessels with different makes and models, applicants should list each make and model for each vessel.
- “Tracker Tahoe Q 5 runabout.”
- “Ranger Comanche 518VX bass boat.”
1312.2 Space 2: Design
In space 2, applicants should provide a detailed but brief description of the claim for which registration is sought. Space 2 is divided into three subparts:
- The type or style of the design for which registration is sought.
- A brief general statement setting forth the salient features of the design.
- A description of any preexisting design used in the design for which a registration is sought.
1312.2(A) Space 2A: Type or Style
In space 2A, applicants should identify the type of design for which protection is sought. The description should be general and, where possible, conform to accepted industry classifications, such as:
- Fiberglass tri-hull
- Aluminum pontoon
1312.2(B) Space 2B: Salient Features
In space 2B the applicant may provide a brief description of the salient features of the design. 17 U.S.C. § 1310(d). Providing this information is optional, however, the U.S. Copyright Office advises applicants to complete space 2B to create a clearer record and clearer identification of the claim.
If a description is provided, it should clearly identify the design for which protection is sought.
- “Design of transom.”
- “Configuration of deck.”
1312.2(C) Space 2C: Prior Designs
Applicants should complete space 2C only if the claimed design revises, adapts, or rearranges a prior design. In such cases, space 2C should contain a clear description of the prior design with sufficient detail to distinguish the prior design from the new design, as well as a description of the revisions, adaptations, or rearrangements that resulted in the new design.
If the claimed design is not based on a prior design, applicants should leave space 2C blank.
1312.3 Space 3: Identify the Designer
In space 3, the applicant should provide the name of the person or persons whose creative endeavors have resulted in the creation of the claimed design.
The name of the employer of the designer(s) may be entered instead of the individual designer or designers if:
- The design was created in the regular scope of an individual designer’s employment; and
- The individual authorship of the design is too difficult or impossible to ascribe because, for instance, multiple employee-designers contributed to the creation of the design.
17 U.S.C. § 1310(g). In such cases, the applicant must check the box provided in space 3 which affirms that the design was created during the scope of an author’s or authors’ employment, and provide the name and address of the employer.
1312.4 Space 4: Identify the Owner if Different from the Designer
If the designer identified in space 3 is not the owner of the claimed design, applicants must provide the name of the owner of the design in space 4. If the designer in space 3 is the owner of the design, applicants should leave space 4 blank or write “N/A.”
1312.5 Space 5: Priority Claims
A claimed design that was previously filed in a foreign country within six months of submitting the U.S. application is referred to as a “priority claim.” See Section 1306.2. In such cases, the effective date of registration in the United States will be the same as the date of registration in the foreign country provided that the following conditions are satisfied:
- The country where foreign registration was made provides similar protection to U.S. citizens; and
- The law of the foreign country where previous registration was made provides protection for vessel designs of U.S. citizens similar to the protection provided in 17 U.S.C. Chapter 13.
17 U.S.C. § 1311. If a priority claim exists at the time registration is sought, the applicant must provide information on that claim in space 5, including (i) the country, (ii) date of application, and (iii) a serial number.
In addition, applicants also must submit the following information:
- A certified copy of the foreign application;
- If the foreign application is in a language other than English, a translation of the foreign application, along with a signed statement by the translator that the translation is accurate; and
- If requested by the U.S. Copyright Office, proof that the foreign country in which the prior application was filed extends similar protection to designs owned by U.S. citizens, or designs for which claims are filed.
37 C.F.R. § 212.3(h).
1312.6 Space 6: Date Made Public
As discussed in Section 1303.3, a vessel design is “made public” under one of the following conditions:
- It was publicly exhibited anywhere;
- It was publicly distributed; or
- It was offered for sale or sold to the public under the owner’s authorization.
17 U.S.C. § 1310(b). If the design was made public prior to submission of the application, the applicant should check “yes” to the Made Public question, and provide the month, day, and year of public exhibition or distribution.
If the design was not made public prior to registration, the applicant should leave space 6 blank.
1312.7 Space 7: Contact Person
In space 7, the applicant should provide contact information for the person who can provide additional information regarding the application in the event the U.S. Copyright Office needs additional information. Contact information consists of the following:
- Mailing address.
- Email address (if any).
- Daytime phone number.
- Facsimile number (if any).
The Office will not reject an application if space 7 is left blank, but the application may be delayed if the Office needs to communicate with the applicant and correct contact information is not provided in space 7 or elsewhere in the registration materials.
1312.8 Space 8: Deposit Account Information
The applicant should provide deposit account information in space 8 only if the applicant has an existing deposit account with the U.S. Copyright Office. Otherwise, space 8 should be left blank.
For more information on how to establish a deposit account with the Office, see Circular 5, How to Obtain and Maintain a Copyright Office Deposit Account (www.copyright.gov/circs/circ05.pdf).
1312.9 Space 9: Certification and Sworn Statements
To obtain a registration of a vessel design, the applicant or the applicant’s duly appointed agent or representative must certify the declaration in space 9. It is not necessary to have the declaration provided in space 9 notarized.
Willfully making false statements in the application is punishable by fine or imprisonment, or both, and may jeopardize the validity of the application and any resulting registration.
1312.9(A) Space 9: Location of Design Notice
If the design has been made public with a design notice as prescribed in 17 U.S.C. § 1306, the content and location of the notice on the vessel must be disclosed in space 9. For information regarding the placement of the notice, see Section 1309.4. If a distinctive identification of the owner has been recorded with the U.S. Copyright Office and is used instead of the design notice, the applicant should disclose this information in space 9.
1312.9(B) Space 9: Certificate Mailing Address
In Space 9, applicants should provide the name and address of the person or entity designated to receive a certificate of registration. To avoid delays in mailing, applicants should type or handwrite the name and address clearly, because the U.S. Copyright Office will mail the certificate in a window envelope that displays the address exactly as it appears on the application.
1313 Deposit Material
As stated above in Section 1311.5, the applicant must submit deposit material with the application. The deposit material must contain no more than two photographs or drawings on a single sheet of paper, and no more than three 8 ½ inches by 11 inches sheets of paper per basic application fee. Photographs and drawings should not be combined on a single sheet.Chapter 1300: 19 12/22/2014
1313.1 Views and Use of Perspective
The drawings or photographs should contain a sufficient number of views to make an adequate disclosure of the appearance of the design, i.e., front, rear, right and left sides, top, and bottom. The applicant may submit up to six different views or depictions of the design.
NOTE: An additional fee shall be assessed for each page beyond the first three pages. 37 C.F.R. § 212.3(e)(1).
While not required, the U.S. Copyright Office suggests that applicants submit perspective views to show clearly the appearance and shape of the three-dimensional designs. 37 C.F.R. § 212.3(e)(2); see 17 U.S.C. § 1310(h) (“The application for registration shall be accompanied by two copies of … [a] pictorial representation of the useful article embodying the design, having one or more views, adequate to show the design ….”).
1313.2 Photographic Deposit Requirements
Deposit material containing photographs must satisfy the following requirements:
- The photographs must be mounted on plain, unlined 8 ½ inches by 11inches paper;
- The photographs must be developed on double-weight photographic paper;
- There can be no more than two photographs per sheet of paper;
- The photographs must be of a high enough quality to clearly show the details of the design; and
- The U.S. Copyright Office must be able to reproduce the photographs as submitted on a certificate of registration, should a registration be issued.
37 C.F.R. § 212.3(e)(4).
1313.3 Drawing Deposit Requirements
If the applicant submits deposit material that contains drawings, the deposit material must satisfy the following requirements:
- Only black ink is acceptable;
- The drawing must be submitted on 8 ½ inches by 11inches unruled paper;
- The drawing must contain the appropriate amount of surface shading to clearly show the character and contour of all surfaces of any three-dimensional aspects of the design; and
- Surface shading should not be solid black, unless that depicts the color black in the design.
37 C.F.R. § 212.3(e)(3).
1313.4 Use of Broken Lines in Drawings
The applicant should use broken lines to depict structures that are not part of the claimed design. The broken lines should not intrude upon or cross the depiction of the claimed design, nor should the broken lines be of a heavier weight than the lines that depict the claimed design.
If a broken line must intrude or cross the depiction of the claimed design to depict the environmental structure, that drawing must be submitted in addition to one that clearly shows the claimed design without the intrusion of broken lines. 37 C.F.R. § 212.3(e)(3)(ii)-(iii).
1314 Submitting the Application, Filing Fee, and Deposit Material
An applicant may submit Form D-VH, D-VH/CON, the filing fee, and the deposit material by U.S. mail, in person, or by courier to the following addresses:
- By U.S. Mail: Library of Congress, U.S. Copyright Office–VH, 101 Independence Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20559.
- In Person: James Madison Building, Public Information Office, Room LM–401, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, except on federal holidays.
- By Courier: Congressional Courier Acceptance Site (“CCAS”), 2nd and D Streets, NE, Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time, except on federal holidays.
NOTE: Couriers will receive a dated receipt from CCAS, rather than the U.S. Copyright Office. The Office will consider the date of receipt at CCAS as the date of receipt in the Office. A courier may deliver up to ten items at a time. Packages accepted at CCAS may not exceed 4" x 14" x 18" in size. Larger packages will not be accepted by CCAS; in such cases, the courier will be directed to deliver these packages to the offsite mail processing center.
1315 Publication of Registration Certificate and Effective Date of Registration
When a claim is registered, the U.S. Copyright Office issues a certificate of registration that includes a reproduction of the drawings or other pictorial representations of the design. 17 U.S.C. § 1314.
Once a registration is made, the Office publishes a notification that the registration was made. The Office does so by posting the notification on its web site, at www.copyright.gov/vessels/list.
The effective date of registration of a claim to protection in a vessel design is the date on which the Office publishes the registration. 17 U.S.C. §§ 1313(a), 1315.Chapter 1300: 21 12/22/2014
1316 Reconsideration of Refusal to Register
If the U.S. Copyright Office refuses to register a design, the applicant may seek reconsideration by filing a written request within three months of the refusal. 17 U.S.C. § 1313(b). To exercise this option, the applicant should follow the procedures set forth in 37 C.F.R. § 202.5 and Chapter 1700, Section 1703.1. If the Office upholds its refusal to register, the applicant may seek judicial review of the final refusal. 17 U.S.C. § 1321(b).
1317 Certificate of Correction for a Completed Registration
If the U.S. Copyright Office makes a clerical or typographical error in preparing the certificate of registration for a vessel design, the owner of the vessel design should contact the Public Information Office in writing (www.copyright.gov/help/general-form.html). If appropriate, the Office will correct the error and will issue a new certificate to the correspondent named in the certificate.
If the applicant made a clerical or typographical error in the application for registration, the owner of the registered design or its duly authorized agent may submit an application for a certificate of correction using Form DC together with the appropriate filing fee. See 37 C.F.R. § 212.8(a)(3), (c). This form is posted on the Office’s website at www.copyright.gov/forms/formdc.pdf. The current filing fee for a certificate of correction is listed on the Office’s fee schedule under the heading “Form DC (to correct a design registration)” (www.copyright.gov/forms/formdc.pdf. The current filing fee for a certificate of correction is listed on the Office’s fee schedule under the heading “Form DC (to correct a design registration)” (www.copyright.gov/forms/formdc.pdf). The current filing fee for a certificate of correction is listed on the Office’s fee schedule under the heading “Form DC (to correct a design registration)” (www.copyright.gov/docs/fees.html). For information concerning the methods for paying this fee, see Chapter 1400, Sections 1403.4 and 1403.5.
The Office will issue a certificate of correction only in cases in which the applicant made clerical or typographical errors. The Office has no authority and no procedure for allowing vessel design owners to supplement the deposit material for a registration for a vessel design, to amplify the facts or information set forth in the registration, or to correct material mistakes in the registration. See 17 U.S.C. § 1319. To correct substantive, material factual errors or omissions in the registration or to correct, supplement, or amplify the deposit material, the owner of the design must submit a new application using Form D-VH.