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Georgetown Law Library

Patent Law Research Guide

This guide focuses on one area of intellectual property law, patent law, and provides an introduction to key resources for conducting patent law research at Georgetown.


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Case Law

  • BNA's United States Patents Quarterly (KF2975 .A2 (1st Series), KF2975 .A2 2nd Ser (2d Series)) (1929-2009, print cancelled)
    Also available from 1929 to present through Bloomberg Law's Patent and Trade Secrets Practice Center
    Contains patent cases from federal and state courts and decisions of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences and the Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  • Chisum on Patents (KF3114 .C47)
    Also available through Lexis
    This treatise includes the "Federal Circuit Guide," which has over "2,000 precedential, patent-related decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States from October 1982 through December 2007." The guide provides case citations and abstracts organized by topic. The Federal Circuit Guide is updated by the Patent Law Digest.
  • Patent Law Digest (2010)
    Available through Lexis
    The 2010 edition of the Patent Law Digest updates the Federal Circuit Guide. It contains case citations and abstracts organized by topic for all Supreme Court decisions from 1982 to 2009 and all en banc Federal Circuit Court of Appeals decisions on patent law through 2009. It also includes other Federal Circuit decisions on patent law from 2007-2009 not included in the Federal Circuit Guide.
  • Robert L. Harmon, Patents and the Federal Circuit (9th ed. 2009) (KF3114 .H347)
    Also available through Bloomberg Law
    Analyzes patent opinions from the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. It covers all patent opinions reported in the United States Patents Quarterly that were issued through the end of September 2008 and a few other important decisions.

For information on researching U.S. case law generally, see Georgetown Law Library's Case Law Research Guide or the Case Law Research Tutorial.


  • The U.S. Constitution (Art. 1, sec. 8, cl. 8) grants Congress the power "to promote the progress of science and the useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries."
  • Patent laws are contained in Title 35 of the United States Code.

For information on researching U.S. statutory law generally, see Georgetown Law Library's Statutes Research Guide or the Statutory Research Tutorial.

Administrative Materials

  • Regulations promulgated by United States Patent and Trademark Office are codified in Title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
  • Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (9th ed. 2015)
    Available through the USPTO and HeinOnline
    This manual outlines the practices and procedures patent examiners follow in reviewing patent applications. Older editions of the manual are available from the USPTO (1948 - ) and HeinOnline (1949 - ). For other USPTO guidance, see USPTO Policy & Guides.
  • Official Gazette for Patents (USPTO)
    The official journal of the USPTO, which is published every Tuesday and contains information on patents issued that week and other important notices. The USPTO website has all notices published in the Gazettefrom 1995 to present and a compilation of important notices and rule changes from 1964-1998. The completeOfficial Gazette for Patents is available online from December 22, 2009 to present. The Official Gazette is no longer published in print (last print issue was September 24, 2002).
  • Agency Decisions

For information on researching U.S. administrative law generally, see Georgetown Law Library's Administrative Law Research Guide or the Administrative Law Tutorial.