Blank-Forms Rule Law and Legal Definition

Blank forms rule is a principle of copyrights law that blank forms are not copyrightable. Blank forms are not protected by copyright if they are designed for recording information but do not themselves convey any information. The blank forms rule, first articulated in Baker v. Selden, 101 U.S. 99 (U.S. 1880), is codified at 37 C.F.R. § 202.1(c) (1982).

Although blank forms are generally not copyrightable, there is a well-established exception where text is integrated with blank forms. Where a work consists of text integrated with blank forms, the forms have explanatory force because of the accompanying copyrightable textual material. [Bibbero Systems, Inc. v. Colwell Systems, Inc., 893 F.2d 1104, 1106-1107 (9th Cir. Cal. 1990)]