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U.S. Government Works

Đang chơi bàiLearn more about how copyright applies to U.S. government works.


  • Đang chơi bàiYou cannot use government trademarks or government agencies' logos without permission. For example, you cannot use an agency logo or trademark on your social media page.

  • You cannot use a government work in a way that implies endorsement by a government agency, official, or employee. For example, you can't use a photo of a government official wearing your product in an ad.

  • Đang chơi bàiWorks prepared for the government by independent contractors may be protected by copyright. The copyrights may be owned by the independent contractor or by the U.S. government.

  • Not everything that appears on a government website is a government work. Content on a government website may be protected intellectual property used with the rights holder's permission. This content can include:

    • Text

    • Trademarks

    • Logos

    • Images

  • Đang chơi bàiTo ensure that you don’t use protected intellectual property, check with the agency or program that manages the website.

    • Đang chơi bàiThe U.S. government work designation does not apply to works of state and local governments. Works of state and local governments may be protected by copyright.

    • Copyright laws differ internationally. U.S. copyright laws may not protect U.S. government works outside the country. But the work may be protected under the copyright laws of other jurisdictions when used in these jurisdictions. The U.S. government may assert copyright outside of the United States for U.S. government works.

    – Read the section of the law that describes U.S. government works.

  • – Find answers to common questions about U.S. government works.

  • – Many people confuse copyrights with patents and trademarks.

  • Ask Questions

    If you have questions about U.S. government works, please contact the U.S. Copyright Office.

    Four Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before Starting the Patent Process

    Before you start the patent application process, make sure you have the answers to these following questions about intellectual property, originality of your design, and different types of patents.

    Four Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before Starting the Patent Process. See the transcript below.
    • Four Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before Starting the Patent Process

      1. What type of intellectual property (IP) protection do I need?
      2. In my invention "new, useful, and non-obvious?"
      3. Do I have everything I need to apply?
      4. What kind of patent do I need?

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    Last Updated: November 18, 2020