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.


Key to Icons

  • Georgetown only
  • On Westlaw
  • On Lexis
  • On Bloomberg
  • PDF
  • More Info (hover)
  • Preeminent Treatise
  • Study Aid

Patent Searching

The following databases contain the full-text of patents issued, patent applications, and related information.

  • USPTO Patent Searching
    Search the full-text of patents issued since 1976 and images of patents from 1790, patent applications published since March 2001, and patent assignments since August 1980.
  • Google Patents
    Google Patents contains information on patents and applications from the USPTO. Viewing images of patents is easier in Google Patents than it is in on the USPTO site, which requires a special plug-in.
  • Westlaw (Patents issued (1976 - ), patent applications (March 2001), and patent assignments (1980 - ))
  • Bloomberg (Patent Search and Patent Assignment Search, 1976 to present)

For more information on how to conduct a patent search, see Patent Searching: Tools & Techniques (David Hunt et al. eds., 2007) (T201 .P38).

Government Entities, Professional Associations, Organizations, and Institutes

  • United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
    A part of the Department of Commerce, the USPTO is the agency responsible for issuing patents.
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
    Established in 1982, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has nationwide jurisdiction over appeals of patent cases and decisions of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences. The website has caseload statistics, opinions and orders, court rules, and oral argument recordings.
  • ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law
    Special section of the American Bar Association for intellectual property attorneys. The section is responsible for numerous useful publications on intellectual property law, including its magazine, Landslide (KF2972 .L36, May 2009 -2015, electronically, 2008 - ).
  • World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
    WIPO is a special agency of the United Nations that promotes the protection of intellectual property rights. The website contains a great deal of useful information, including a patent search, statistics, and access to documents and publications.
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA)
    National Bar Association of lawyers involved in the practice of intellectual property law. The website includes amicus briefs filed by AIPLA, comments on proposed rules and regulations, a list of key IP legislation introduced in Congress, and more. Some content is restricted to members.

Sources for Statistics

  • ProQuest Statistical Insight
    This database contains statistics from U.S. government publications, state governments, international organizations, and private sources as far back as 1973. To find statistics related to patents, search by keyword or by "Subject: Patents" and then apply any relevant filters.
    From the Institute for Intellectual Property and Information Law at the University of Houston Law Center, this site contains patent litigation statistics from 2000 to present. The site also has statistics on jury patent damage verdicts from 2005 to present.
  • U.S Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit: Statistics
    Caseload and filing statistics (dates vary).
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Statistics
    Links to statistics available from the USPTO website. The USPTO also has a Data Visualization Center, which is a graphical display of key office statistics.
  • WIPO Statistics on Patents
    Statistics from World Intellectual Property Indicators, which obtains its data from national and regional intellectual property offices, WIPO, the World Bank, and UNESCO. WIPO also has statistical country profiles.

For more information on statistical sources generally, see our Statistics and Empirical Legal Studies Research Guide.