MPEP 608.01(w)
Copyright and Mask Work Notices

This is the Ninth Edition of the MPEP, Revision 08.2017, Last Revised in January 2018

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608.01(w)    Copyright and Mask Work Notices [R-11.2013]

37 C.F.R. 1.71 Detailed description and specification of the invention

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  • (d) A copyright or mask work notice may be placed in a design or utility patent application adjacent to copyright and mask work material contained therein. The notice may appear at any appropriate portion of the patent application disclosure. For notices in drawings, see § 1.84(s). The content of the notice must be limited to only those elements provided for by law. For example, "©1983 John Doe" (17 U.S.C. 401) and "*M* John Doe" (17 U.S.C. 909) would be properly limited and, under current statutes, legally sufficient notices of copyright and mask work, respectively. Inclusion of a copyright or mask work notice will be permitted only if the authorization language set forth in paragraph (e) of this section is included at the beginning (preferably as the first paragraph) of the specification.
  • (e) The authorization shall read as follows:

    A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material which is subject to (copyright or mask work) protection. The (copyright or mask work) owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent disclosure, as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office patent file or records, but otherwise reserves all (copyright or mask work) rights whatsoever.

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37 C.F.R. 1.84 Standards for drawings

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  • (s) Copyright or Mask Work Notice. A copyright or mask work notice may appear in the drawing, but must be placed within the sight of the drawing immediately below the figure representing the copyright or mask work material and be limited to letters having a print size of.32 cm. to.64 cm. (1/8 to 1/4 inches) high. The content of the notice must be limited to only those elements provided for by law. For example, " ©1983 John Doe" (17 U.S.C. 401) and "*M* John Doe" (17 U.S.C. 909) would be properly limited and, under current statutes, legally sufficient notices of copyright and mask work, respectively. Inclusion of a copyright or mask work notice will be permitted only if the authorization language set forth in § 1.71(e) is included at the beginning (preferably as the first paragraph) of the specification.

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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will permit the inclusion of a copyright or mask work notice in a design or utility patent application, and thereby any patent issuing therefrom, which discloses material on which copyright or mask work protection has previously been established, under the following conditions:

  • (A) The copyright or mask work notice must be placed adjacent to the copyright or mask work material. Therefore, the notice may appear at any appropriate portion of the patent application disclosure, including the drawing. However, if appearing in the drawing, the notice must comply with 37 CFR 1.84(s). If placed on a drawing in conformance with these provisions, the notice will not be objected to as extraneous matter under 37 CFR 1.84.
  • (B) The content of the notice must be limited to only those elements required by law. For example, "©1983 John Doe"(17 U.S.C. 401) and "*M* John Doe" (17 U.S.C. 909) would be properly limited, and under current statutes, legally sufficient notices of copyright and mask work respectively.
  • (C) Inclusion of a copyright or mask work notice will be permitted only if the following authorization in 37 CFR 1.71(e) is included at the beginning (preferably as the first paragraph) of the specification to be printed for the patent:

    A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material which is subject to (copyright or mask work) protection. The (copyright or mask work) owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent disclosure, as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office patent files or records, but otherwise reserves all (copyright or mask work) rights whatsoever.

  • (D) Inclusion of a copyright or mask work notice after a Notice of Allowance has been mailed will be permitted only if the criteria of 37 CFR 1.312 have been satisfied.

The inclusion of a copyright or mask work notice in a design or utility patent application, and thereby any patent issuing therefrom, under the conditions set forth above will serve to protect the rights of the author/inventor, as well as the public, and will serve to promote the mission and goals of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Therefore, the inclusion of a copyright or mask work notice which complies with these conditions will be permitted. However, any departure from these conditions may result in a refusal to permit the desired inclusion. If the authorization required under condition (C) above does not include the specific language "(t)he (copyright or mask work) owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent disclosure, as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office patent files or records,..." the notice will be objected to as improper by the examiner of the application. If the examiner maintains the objection upon reconsideration, a petition may be filed in accordance with 37 CFR 1.181.