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Copyright a PDF form?


Level 1

Am I able to copyright a PDF form built in Livecycle and offer it as part of a billing procedure my company can resell to our product vendors? What are my rights as an author of the document?

2 Replies


Level 2

Blank forms are not in general terms protected by copyright law. Even if the form has a lot of design flourishes, it's still considered a tool to collect data.

Some elements of the form may hold copyright in and of themselves, for example:

  • a logotype element on the page may have protection via trademark
  • a graphical design element or photograph may have standalone copyright
  • a block of original text used on the form (by way of explanation, etc.) can be considered a copyrightable work in isolation provided it meets the standards to be considered a creative work, but plain statements of fact such as field labels or button tooltips are not.

but the form itself is not a "creative work". The same is true of things like blank diaries, bank checks or sheets of headed notepaper.


Former Community Member

The answer depends a lot on the country you live in and, if different, the county your users reside in. In the end, you will probably need a lawyer to get a reliable answer.