Copyright policy

IP Policy and international affairs: Copyright Policy

The USPTO’s copyright-related work is far reaching and includes:

  • Treaty negotiation and monitoring the implementation of copyright-related international treaty provisions, including reviewing U.S. implementation of and adherence to international treaty obligations relating to copyright and related rights;
  • Technical assistance and training on copyright-related matters, to both U.S. and foreign officials; and
  • Monitoring domestic copyright policy developments within the Executive Branch, the U.S. Congress, and the courts.

The USPTO has helped develop, negotiate, and monitor key copyright-related international agreements, including the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) “Internet Treaties” (the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty), and the Marrakesh Treaty. The USPTO monitors third countries’ adherence to and implementation of these and other copyright treaties, and advises the Executive Branch on corollary domestic issues and questions. More information about these treaties, on select copyright policy matters, and on international organizations focused on copyright is provided on the pages linked below. 

Copyright is among the many topics covered in the training and capacity building programs that the USPTO offers to foreign officials and to U.S. stakeholders. 

For information about copyright registration, including fees, filing forms, and other information, visit the U.S. Copyright Office.

Copyright basics

Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States to the authors of “original works of authorship” that are fixed in a tangible medium of expression. An original work of authorship is a work that is independently created by a human author and possesses at least some minimal degree of creativity.

Domestic copyright policy topics

Analysis and advice from the USPTO on domestic copyright issues, including legislative analysis, policy proposals, technical advice, and briefing materials for the Executive Branch, U.S. Congress, and the courts.

International copyright agreements

The United States has ratified a range of copyright treaties administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Multilateral organizations

The USPTO works with several global organizations that bring together international intellectual property (IP) offices to develop copyright policies and address IP issues.


Subscribe to receive news about IP policy and international affairs

Interested in keeping informed about the latest developments in IP policy and international affairs at the USPTO? Subscribe to receive IP Policy Alerts by email:


Questions about the content of this page may be directed to the USPTO’s Office of Policy and International Affairs at