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Editorial Note:

Nomenclature changes to part 212 appear at 82 FR 9366, Feb. 6, 2017.

§ 212.3 Registration of claims for protection of eligible designs.

(a) Limitations. Protection is not available for, and an application for registration will not be accepted for:

(1) An otherwise eligible design made public prior to October 28, 1998;

(2) An otherwise eligible design made public on a date more than two years prior to the filing of an application for registration under this section;

(3) A design ineligible for any of the reasons set forth in 17 U.S.C. 1302.

(b) Required elements of application. An application is considered filed with the Copyright Office on the date on which the following three items have been received by the Copyright Office:

(1) Completed Form D-VH;

(2) Deposit material identifying the design or designs for which registration is sought; and

(3) The appropriate fee.

(c) Application by owner of design. An application for registration under this section may be made only by the owner or owners of the design, or by the duly authorized agent or representative of the owner or owners of the design.

(d) Application form. Registration must be made on Form D-VH. Forms are available from the Copyright Office and may be reprinted from the Copyright Office's website (

(e) Deposit material

(1) In General. Identification of the design to be registered may be made in the form of drawings or photographs. No more than two drawings or photographs of the design may appear on a single sheet. Applicants may submit up to three 812″ × 11″ sheets containing drawings or photographs as part of the basic application fee. An additional fee shall be assessed for each page beyond the first three pages. No combinations of drawings and photographs may be submitted on a single sheet. The drawings or photographs that accompany the application must reveal those aspects of the design for which protection is claimed. The registration extends only to those aspects of the design which are adequately shown in the drawings or photographs.

(2) Views. The drawings or photographs submitted 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. While not required, it is suggested that perspective views be submitted to show clearly the appearance and shape of the three dimensional designs.

(3) Drawings.

(i) Drawings must be in black ink on white 812″ × 11″ unruled paper. A drawing of a design should include appropriate surface shading which shows clearly the character and contour of all surfaces of any 3-dimensional aspects of the design. Surface shading is also necessary to distinguish between any open and solid areas of the design. Solid black surface shading is not permitted except when used to represent the black color as well as color contrast.

(ii) The use of broken lines in drawings depicting the design is understood to be for illustrative purposes only and forms no part of the claimed design. Structure that is not part of the design, but that is considered necessary to show the environment in which the design is used, may be represented in the drawing by broken lines. This includes any portion of the vessel in which the design is embodied or applied that is not considered part of the design. When the claimed design is only surface ornamentation to the vessel, the vessel in which it is embodied must be shown in broken lines.

(iii) When broken lines are used, they should not intrude upon or cross the depiction of the design and should not be of heavier weight than the lines used in depicting the design. Where a broken line showing of environmental structure must necessarily cross or intrude upon the representation of the design and obscure a clear understanding of the design, such an illustration should be included as a separate figure, in addition to other figures which fully disclose the subject matter of the design.

(4) Photographs. High quality black and white or color photographs will be accepted provided that they are mounted on plain white 812″ × 11″ unlined paper and do not exceed two photographs per sheet. Photographs must be developed on double weight photographic paper and must be of sufficient quality so that all the details of the design are plainly visible and are capable of reproduction on the registration certificate, if issued.

(f) Multiple claims

(1) In general. Claims for more than one design may be filed in one of two ways. If multiple designs are contained on the same make and model of a vessel (and therefore, the information in Space 1 of Form D-VH—the make and model of the vessel that embodies the design—is the same for each design), one application form may be used to register all the designs, provided that the information in spaces 3 through 9 is the same for each design. If multiple designs are contained on more than one make and model of a vessel, or the information in spaces 3 through 9 is not the same for each of the multiple designs, then separate applications must be used for each design.

(2) One application. Where one application for multiple designs is appropriate, a separate Form D-VH/CON must be used for each design beyond the first appearing on Form D-VH. Each Form D-VH/CON must be accompanied by deposit material identifying the design that is the subject of the Form D-VH/CON, and the deposit material must be attached to the Form D-VH/CON. The Form D-VH and all the Form D-VH/CONs for the application must be submitted together.

(3) Multiple applications. Where multiple applications for more than one design are required, a Form D-VH must be completed for each design. Deposit material identifying the design must accompany each application. Multiple applications may be filed separately.

(4) Fees. The basic application fee prescribed in § 201.3(c) of this chapter applies to each design submitted, regardless of whether one application or multiple applications are used.

(g) Written declaration. In lieu of the oath required by 17 U.S.C. 1312(a), the application shall contain a written declaration, as permitted by 17 U.S.C. 1312(b), signed by the applicant, or the applicant's duly authorized agent or representative. If the design has been made public with the design notice prescribed in 17 U.S.C. 1306, the written declaration shall also describe the exact form and position of the design notice. The written declaration shall read as follows:

The undersigned, as the applicant or the applicant's duly appointed agent or representative, being hereby warned that willful false statements are punishable by fine or imprisonment, or both, under 18 U.S.C. 1001, and that such willful false statements may jeopardize the validity of this application or any resulting registration, hereby declares to the best of his/her knowledge and belief:

(1) That the design has been fixed in a useful article;

(2) That the design is original and was created by the designer(s), or employer if applicable, named in the application;

(3) That those aspects of the design for which registration is sought are not protected by a design patent;

(4) That the design has not previously been registered on behalf of the applicant or the applicant's predecessor in title; and

(5) That the applicant is the person entitled to protection and to registration under chapter 13 of title 17, United States Code.

(h) Priority claims. An applicant seeking the benefit of 17 U.S.C. 1311 because the applicant has, within the previous six months, filed an application for protection of the same design in a foreign country, must provide:

(1) Identification of the filing date of the foreign application;

(2) Identification of the foreign country in which the application was filed;

(3) The serial number or any other identifying number of the foreign application;

(4) A certified copy of the foreign application;

(5) A translation of the foreign application and a statement, signed by the translator, that the translation is accurate, if the foreign application is in a language other than English; and

(6) If requested by the Copyright Office, proof that the foreign country in which the prior application was filed extends to designs of owners who are citizens of the United States, or to applications filed under chapter 13 of title 17, United States Code, similar protection to that provided under chapter 13 of title 17, United States Code.

(i) Effective date of registration. The effective date of registration is the date of publication of the registration by the Copyright Office.

(j) Publication of registration. Publication of registrations of vessel designs shall be made on the Copyright Office website (

[64 FR 36578, July 7, 1999, as amended at 72 FR 33692, June 19, 2007; 82 FR 9366, Feb. 6, 2017; 83 FR 66630, Dec. 27, 2018]

Source: GPO Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) (
Data current as of 04/12/2024