Request to Reopen a Case Closed for Failure to Reply

When a registration specialist communicates with an applicant regarding a case, the Copyright Office provides a deadline by which a reply is required. If no response is received by the deadline, the Office will close the case. When a case is closed, a new application must be filed with a new filing fee and deposit copy or copies.


If the failure to respond to the communication was caused by extraordinary circumstances, the applicant may request that the Office reopen the case. If the request is made in writing and within a reasonable amount of time, a showing of good cause is made, and the Office has the deposit copies in its possession, the Office may exercise its discretion to reopen a case.


Please submit your complete request to reopen a case using the form below. The Registration Program will consider your request in due course. Once a determination has been made, the Office will contact you at the email address you provide below.


NOTE: It may be up to eight months before a determination is made regarding a request to reopen. The Office’s determination is a procedural decision that will not be reconsidered.

  • Why was my case closed?

    The Office requires an applicant to respond within an appropriate timeframe to correspondence sent by a registration specialist. In the original communication, the registration specialist indicated that a reply was required within a certain number of days. For more information, see sections 605.6 and 605.7 of the Compendium.

  • What can I do if my case was closed?

    If you wish to proceed with registering the work, you must reapply for registration by submitting a new application, filing fee, and deposit copy or copies. If the failure to respond was caused by extraordinary circumstances, you can request to reopen your case by filling out this form.

  • I submitted a request to reopen but have decided to file a new application instead. What do I do?

    Resubmit the form on this page with a notification in the final text box that you have decided to refile your application. The Registration Program will remove your request to reopen from consideration.

  • When are cases reopened?

    Cases closed for failure to reply are opened only in extraordinary circumstances. The Office may grant a request to reopen if:

    1. The request is made in writing;
    2. The request is made within a reasonable amount of time after the original deadline;
    3. A showing of good cause is made; and,
    4. The Office has the deposit copy or copies for your application.
  • When and how will I hear a reply from the Office?

    Whether your case is reopened will depend on an official determination from the Registration Program. Requests to reopen cases are handled in the order in which they are received. Each request requires a factual investigation and independent determination as to whether the request can be granted. The Office does not provide a timeline for a determination.

    If your request is granted, a representative from the Registration Program will send you an email. If you submitted your application online, the case status will be set to “Open.”

    If your request is denied, a representative from the Registration Program will send you an email with an explanation for denying your request.

  • How do I prevent future cases from being closed?

    1. When an examiner sends an email about a case, the email will come from [email protected]. Add this address to your trusted email list. This may prevent future messages from being diverted to your “junk” or “spam” folder.
    2. Prior to submitting your application, review the email address you provide to the Office. Make sure it is correct and that the account is active.
    3. Regularly check the email account until you receive your certificate.
    4. Notify the Copyright Office if you change your email address before you have received a certificate of registration.
    5. If a registration specialist sends you an email, respond within 45 calendar days from the day the specialist sent the email. If you need more than 45 calendar days to respond, reply to the specialist’s email and request more time. You must include the THREAD ID in the body of your email to the specialist. The THREAD ID is located beneath the specialist’s signature block. DO NOT put the THREAD ID in the subject line of your email.
    6. Do not include any emojis, accent marks, non-Roman characters, or any other characters not found on an English language keyboard. Using these characters in the subject line or body of your response will prevent your email from being delivered to the specialist.

Contact Info


Name *
Email *
Confirm Email *

Application Information


Type of Work *
Case number *
Title of Work *
Author/
Claimant Name *
Date of Application *
Email Used on Application *

Request to Reopen


Please provide the basis for your request to reopen your case. The Copyright Office will only reopen a case if (1) the failure to reply in a timely manner was caused by extraordinary circumstances; (2) the request to reopen is made within a reasonable amount of time after the original deadline; and (3) the Office has the deposit copy or copies of the original application on file. In the comment box below, please provide a brief explanation of the extraordinary reason(s) for not replying to the Copyright Office correspondence.