By JUDITH NIERMAN
Copyright Office documents and publications bear an updated seal, logo and wordmark as part of a new identity package implemented on Jan. 1. Everything from office stationery to the Copyright Office Web site reflects the new designs that give the Copyright Office a revamped visual identity.
Register of Copyrights Marybeth Peters said, "This is an exciting step for the Copyright Office. It will complement the movement toward implementing our new work processes under the Office's Reengineering Program."
The Copyright Office seal is used on official documents, such as the certificate of registration and certified documents. The logo is used to identify the office on its stationery and publications. The wordmark, which is a fixed stylistic rendering of the name of the office, is used interchangeably with the logo.
A new seal required a redesigned certificate of registration, one of the office publications most familiar to the public. The new certificate of registration has an official but classic look with the seal and a background pattern of thousands of interlocking new logos in miniature. Not only does this pattern serve as a security measure to thwart counterfeiting, but it also gives the certificate a more "official" look.
Until now, the office had not had a separate seal and logo but used one symbol for both purposes. The new logo and seal replace the familiar pen in a circle used since Jan. 1, 1978, the effective date of the 1976 Copyright Act. The pen represented one just lifted from the paper, indicating that copyright exists when a work is first "fixed" in a tangible medium of expression. However, with the passage of time and the increase in the types of expressions of creativity registered by the Copyright Office, that meaning was lost to many contemporary, especially international, observers.
Before the final design was approved, the office took steps to ensure that its use of the new seal and logo would not violate anyone else's intellectual property rights and obtained a full trademark design search. The new seal has been submitted to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for recordation under a provision of the Paris Convention, which will provide international notice of the office's use of the seal. The logo will be registered as a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Judith Nierman is a writer-editor in the U.S. Copyright Office.