Title 37: Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights
Part 202—PREREGISTRATION AND REGISTRATION OF CLAIMS TO COPYRIGHT
Subchapter A—Copyright Office and Procedures
(a) General. This section prescribes rules pertaining to the registration of architectural works, as provided for in the amendment of title 17 of the United States Code by the Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act, title VII of the Judicial Improvements Act of 1990, Public Law 101-650.
(1) For the purposes of this section, the term architectural work has the same meaning as set forth in section 101 of title 17, as amended.
(2) The term building means humanly habitable structures that are intended to be both permanent and stationary, such as houses and office buildings, and other permanent and stationary structures designed for human occupancy, including but not limited to churches, museums, gazebos, and garden pavilions.
(1) Original design. In general, an original design of a building embodied in any tangible medium of expression, including a building, architectural plans, or drawings, may be registered as an architectural work.
(2) Registration limited to single architectural work. For published and unpublished architectural works, a single application may cover only a single architectural work. A group of architectural works may not be registered on a single application form. For works such as tract housing, a single work is one house model, with all accompanying floor plan options, elevations, and styles that are applicable to that particular model.
(3) Application form. Registration should be sought on Form VA. Line one of the form should give the title of the building. The date of construction of the building, if any, should also be designated. If the building has not yet been constructed, the notation “not yet constructed” should be given following the title.
(4) Separate registration for plans. Where dual copyright claims exist in technical drawings and the architectural work depicted in the drawings, any claims with respect to the technical drawings and architectural work must be registered separately.
(5) Publication. Publication of an architectural work occurs when underlying plans or drawings of the building or other copies of the building design are distributed or made available to the general public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending. Construction of a building does not itself constitute publication for purposes of registration, unless multiple copies are constructed.
(d) Works excluded. The following structures, features, or works cannot be registered:
(1) Structures other than buildings. Structures other than buildings, such as bridges, cloverleafs, dams, walkways, tents, recreational vehicles, mobile homes, and boats.
(2) Standard features. Standard configurations of spaces, and individual standard features, such as windows, doors, and other staple building components.
(3) Pre-December 1, 1990 building designs—
(i) Published building designs. The designs of buildings where the plans or drawings of the building were published before December 1, 1990, or the buildings were constructed or otherwise published before December 1, 1990.
(ii) Unpublished building designs. The designs of buildings that were unconstructed and embodied in unpublished plans or drawings on December 1, 1990, and remained unconstructed on December 31, 2002.
[57 FR 45310, Oct. 1, 1992, as amended at 68 FR 38630, June 30, 2003]