On Demand

Skills for Handling Originality Refusals in Copyright Law


Created on November 10, 2020





In recent years, the US Copyright Office has issued refusals based on a lack of originality. The refusals follow common themes. The design elements are not sufficiently original and creative. Purely functional features cannot be copyrighted. Elements that are common, familiar, or standardized cannot be copyrighted. And lastly, "we could not find any individual pictorial, graphic, or sculptural element, nor a combination of such elements, that could justify copyright and registration. Our determination is that the work does not satisfy the originality and creativity requirements of law."

While the grant of a request for reconsideration is relatively rare, there are strategies and tactics that one may employ to improve the likelihood of success of a reconsideration request. Join seasoned practitioner Amy Goldsmith for practical insights on the types of works likely to be refused, arguments that have been successful in the past, and tips for preparing your next argument against the refusal.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Gain a general understanding of the types of works that are likely to be refused

  2. Familiarize yourself with the specifics of arguments that have been successful in the past

  3. Prepare your argument against the refusal

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