Georgetown Law
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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The law library has many treatises available in print and electronically on patent law. Below is a select list of treatises:

  • Chisum on Patents (KF3114 .C47)
    Also available through Lexis
    Authoritative multi-volume treatise on patent law that covers everything from patentability to infringement.
  • Moy's Walker on Patents (4th ed.) (KF3114 .W3)
    Also available through Westlaw
    Five-volume treatise on patent law that covers the patent system and process, patentability, and infringement.
  • Ronald B. Hildreth, Patent Law: A Practitioner's Guide (3d ed. 1998) (KF3098 .H54, print cancelled in 2008)
    Also available through Bloomberg Law.
    One-volume treatise on the fundamentals of patent law from a practitioner's perspective.
  • John Gladstone Mills et al., Patent Law Fundamentals (2d ed. 2002 -) (KF3114 .R66, print cancelled in 2012)
    Also available through Westlaw
    Multi-volume treatise that provides an introduction to patent law, obtaining a patent, and exploiting patent rights.

To find other treatises on patent law, see our Treatise Finder, search GULLiver, or browse the patent and intellectual property treatises on Westlaw and Lexis (Browse > Sources > By Practice Area > Patent Law > Secondary Sources).

Study Aids

The library has a number of study aids that provide a good overview of the subject and help students prepare for courses on patent law.

  • Stephen M. McJohn, Intellectual Property: Examples & Explanations (5th ed. 2015) (KF2980 .M42)
  • Roger E. Schechter & John R. Thomas, Intellectual Property: The Law of Copyrights, Patents, and Trademarks (2003) (KF2980 .S3)
  • Arthur R. Miller & Michael H. Davis, Intellectual Property: Patents, Trademarks, and Copyright in a Nutshell (5th ed. 2012) (KF2980 .M52)
  • George W. Kuney & Donna C. Looper, Mastering Intellectual Property (2009) (KF2979 .K86)
  • Janice M. Mueller, Patent Law (5th ed. 2016) (KF3114 .M84)
  • Martin J. Adelman et al., Patent Law in a Nutshell (2d ed. 2013) (KF3114 .A343)
  • Amy L. Landers, Understanding Patent Law (2d ed. 2012) (KF3114 .L36)

Tip: If the current edition of a study aid is not available in the Reading Room Reserve and an older edition will suffice, check the catalog to see if one is available in the stacks.

Patent Prosecution, Licensing, Litigation, and Other Practice

The following is a select list of resources that provide information on patent applications and prosecution, patent licensing, and patent litigation and practice. To find similar resources, search GULLiver (try these subject headings), or browse the patent and intellectual property practice material on Westlaw and Lexis (Browse > Sources > By Practice Area > Patent Law).

  • Anatomy of a Patent Case (2012) (available through Bloomberg Law)
    A concise, step-by-step guide to patent litigation prepared by the Complex Litigation Committee of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
  • Brian G. Brunsvold et al., Drafting Patent License Agreements (7th ed. 2012) (available throughBloomberg Law)
    Guide to drafting patent license agreements; includes many examples.
  • Jeffrey G. Sheldon, How to Write a Patent Application (KF3120.A6 S48, print cancelled in 2008) (available through Bloomberg Law)
    A step-by-step guide from the Practising Law Institute on preparing a patent application.
  • Stephen A. Becker, Patent Applications Handbook (2010) (available through Westlaw)
    Covers procedures and requirements for filing and prosecuting patent; appendices include many examples.
  • Mark S. Holmes, Patent Licensing: Strategy, Negotiation, and Forms (available through Bloomberg Law)
    A guide from the Practising Law Institute on patent licensing that covers royalties, infringement, arbitration, export controls, and more; includes many examples.
  • Lester Horwitz, Patent Litigation: Procedure and Tactics (available through Lexis)
    Concise guide to patent litigation that includes checklists and sample jury instructions.

Academic Journals & Journal Databases

Law Journal Databases

  • Westlaw and Lexis (Browse > Sources > By Category > Secondary Materials) each include the full text for approximately 500 law reviews and journals. Coverage varies by journal, but in general they include articles starting from the late 1980s/early 1990s:
  • HeinOnline includes approximately 500 law reviews and journals from the inception date of the publication to present (about a year behind)
  • LegalTrac (formerly known as the Legal Resource Index) 
    Index of approximately 1,300 journals; coverage begins in 1980. 
  • Index to Legal Periodicals and Books
    Index of approximately 1,000 journals (with some full text); coverage begins in August 1981.
  • Index to Legal Periodicals Retrospective: 1908-1981
    Index of over 750 journals; coverage from 1908 to 1981.
  • Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals 
    Index of approximately 470 legal journals published throughout the world. This database covers 1985 to present. To find older articles, use the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals in print (KF8 .I35).

Science & Technology Journal Databases

The following is a select list of databases containing journal articles on science and technology. For more databases on these subjects, see our list of databases or Lauinger Library's (Georgetown main campus) list of databases.

  • ProQuest Science Journals
    Full-text database containing over 1,500 titles (over 1,200 in full-text) with coverage as far back as 1986. Subjects include physics, engineering, biology, chemistry, and more.
  • Sage Journals
    Full-text database of journals published by Sage in the areas of health science, life and biomedical science, and materials science and engineering.
  • ScienceDirect
    Full-text database of over 2,500 science journals. Subjects include physical science and engineering, life sciences, and health sciences.

For more information on finding law journal articles generally, see our Articles for Legal and Non-Legal Research Guide.

News & Current Awareness

  • BNA's Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal (K2976.5 .B95) (1973-2008, print cancelled in 2008)
    Also available online through BNA, HeinOnline and Bloomberg Law
    Weekly newsletter covering recent developments in patent, trademark, and copyright.
  • BNA's Patent, Trademark and Copyright Law Daily
    Available online through BNA's Intellectual Property Resource Center
    Daily newsletter covering recent developments in patent, trademark, and copyright.
  • BNA's World Intellectual Property Report (K1401 .A13 W67) (1987-2008, print cancelled in 2008)
    Also available online through BNA and Bloomberg Law
    Monthly report on developments in intellectual property law worldwide.
  • BNA's BioTech Watch
    Available online through BNA and Bloomberg Law
    Daily newsletter that provides "comprehensive regulatory and legal coverage of biotechnology issues." The newsletter contains many articles related to patent law.
  • BNA's Computer Technology Law Report (KF390.5.C6 Y3) (2000-2006, print cancelled in 2006)
    Also available online through BNA and Bloomberg Law
    Semi-monthly newsletter "comprehensive, in-depth coverage of the major legal issues affecting the computer technology industry, on federal, state, and international levels." The newsletter contains many articles related to patent law.
  • Landslide (KF2972 .L36, May 2009 -2015, and electronically, 2008 - )
    Bi-monthly magazine of the ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law.
  • 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).
  • Patent and Intellectual Property Law Blogs
    To find patent and intellectual property law blogs, see the ABA Blawg Directory or the Justia Blawg Directory.

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

  • Attorney's Dictionary of Patent Claims
    Available through Lexis
    A deskbook for patent drafters containing terms used in patent claims.
  • Black's Law Dictionary (10th ed. 2014) (KF156 .B53)
    Also available through Westlaw
  • Chisum on Patents (KF3114 .C47)
    Also available through Lexis
    This treatise has a glossary of patent-related terms.
  • McCarthy's Desk Encyclopedia of Intellectual Property (3d ed. 2004) (KF2976.4 .M38)
    Provides straightforward definitions of intellectual property terminology and includes references to secondary sources and cases.
  • Modern Patent Law Precedent 
    Available through Westlaw 
    A dictionary that defines "more than 2,000 terms and concepts from patent law."