Request to Reopen a Case Closed for Failure to Reply

*Use this form only if the Copyright Office contacted you about an application, and either

  1. you did not respond by the correspondence deadline because of extraordinary circumstances, or
  2. you responded by the deadline but the Copyright Office may not have received your message.

When a registration specialist communicates with an applicant regarding a case, the message includes a deadline for a response. If the Office does not receive a response by the deadline, the case will generally be closed without a registration decision. To register the work(s), the applicant should submit a new application, fee, and deposit copy(ies).

An applicant may submit a request to reopen a closed case (1) if extraordinary circumstances prevented the correspondent from responding to the registration specialist’s message, or (2) if the applicant responded in a timely manner but the Copyright Office did not receive the response.

The Copyright Office will consider reopening a case if (1) a written request is submitted within a reasonable amount of time after the original deadline; (2) a showing of good cause to reopen the case is made; and (3) the Office has the deposit copy(ies) of the work(s) on file. Once a determination is made, the Office will notify the requestor by email. The Office’s decision is procedural and will not be reconsidered.

Please submit your request to reopen a case using the form below.


Submit this form only if the application in question was closed for failure to reply to correspondence sent by the Copyright Office. This is not the correct form to submit if:

  • You want to check on the status of a pending application.
    Use this form instead.
  • You want to request a change to a pending application.
    Use this form instead. Include the case number and a description of the changes you’d like to make.
  • You want to upload a file to a pending application.
    Use this form instead. The Office will provide additional instructions.
  • You need help with the username or password for your eCO account.
    Contact the Copyright Service Desk by phone, (202) 707-3002, or by email, [email protected].
  • You want to request reconsideration of the Office’s refusal to register a claim.
    Follow the instructions provided in the refusal letter.
  • 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 *
Claimant Name *
Date of Application *
Email Used on Application *

Request to Reopen

Reason for
Request *


By submitting this request, I certify that I am the author, copyright claimant, or owner of exclusive rights, or the authorized agent of the author, copyright claimant, or owner of exclusive rights of this work and that the information given in this request is correct to the best of my knowledge.