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Intellectual Property Law Research Guide

U.S. Patent & Trademark Office

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) web site provides a variety of resources for inventors.

First, consult General Information Concerning Patents, which explains the differences between different types of intellectual property. Frequently Asked Questions about Patents provides more details about the USPTO and the process of patenting an invention

Although only an inventor can apply for a patent, in practice you will need the assistance of an attorney registered to practice before the USPTO. The USPTO's Inventor Assistance Center can answer general questions and even assist you as you fill out forms but they cannot provide legal advice.

Background Reading

An Introduction to Patent Law
Print: XXKF3114 .M84 2009, D'Angelo Law, Reserve

Principles of Patent Law
Print: XXKF3114.3.S34 2004, D'Angelo Law, Reserve

General Information Concerning Patents
Print: T223.K15, D'Angelo Law, Bookstacks (latest is 2001)
Internet: General Information Concerning Patents via USPTO

Current Awareness Resources

Practice Materials


American Jurisprudence Legal Forms (v.14B)
Print: XXKF170.A542, Mansueto
Westlaw: AMJUR-LF

Current Legal Forms, with Tax Analysis (v.2)

Nichols' Cyclopedia of Legal Forms Annotated (v.7A)

West's Legal Forms: Intellectual Property--Patents, trademarks, copyrights (v.25)
Print: XXKF1384.A65W47 1981, Mansueto
Westlaw: WEST-LF
Internet: U.S. Patent & Trademark Office: Trademark Forms

Patent Practice Aids

How to Write a Patent Application
Print: XXKF3125.C5S470 1992, D'Angelo Law, Bookstacks

Manual Of Patent Examining Procedure
Print: XXKF3120.A6M36, D'Angelo Law, Bookstacks
Westlaw: FIP-MPEP
Internet: Manual of Patent Examining Procedure

Manual of U.S. Patent Classification
Internet: U.S. Patent & Trademark Office

Index to the U.S. Patent Classification
Print: T223.A25, Crerar, 1st Floor Reference Collection
Internet: U.S. Patent & Trademark Office

Recent Patent-Related Notices
Internet: U.S. Patent & Trademark Office

Official Gazette of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office - Patent and Trademark Notices
Print: T223.V3 P38, Crerar, 1st Floor Physical Science Journals
Internet: Patent and Trademark OG Notices (1995-date)

Patent Searching

There are many sources for patent searching. Bibliographic searches allow you to search descriptive information about patents but do not provide the full-text of the patent. The full-text of the patent includes the claims made in the patent, descriptive information, and any images associated with the patent. The Official Gazette lists patents issued each week.

Bibliographic Search

Index of Patents Issued from the United States Patent and Trademark Office
Print: T223.D3, Crerar, Bookstacks (1974-2002); CDRom T223.D3, Crerar, Multimedia (2002-2005)
Online: U.S. Patents via Community of Science
Internet: U.S. Patent & Trademark Office Web Patent Databases
Internet: Google Patent Search

Full Text Patents

LexisNexis: PATENT;ALL
Westlaw: US-PAT
Internet: U.S. Patent & Trademark Office Web Patent Databases
Internet: Google Patent Search

Official Gazette of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office - Patents

Note: The U.S.P.T.O. ceased publication of the Official Gazette for Patents in print with the issue for September 24, 2002.

Print: T223.V3P38, Crerar, 1st Floor Physical Science Journals
Internet: eOfficial Gazette for Patents (current 52 weeks)

Major Treatises and Looseleaf Services

Chisum on Patents: A Treatise on the Law of Patentability, Validity, and Infringement
Print: XXKF3114.C470, D'Angelo Law, Reserve (16 vols.; loose-leaf; also updated by supplements)
LexisNexis: Chisum on Patents

Moy's Walker on Patents
Print: XXKF3114.D442 2004, D'Angelo Law, Bookstacks (5 vols.; updated electronically)
Westlaw: MOY-PAT

Patent Law Fundamentals (Mills, Reiley & Highley)
Print: XXKF3114.R660 1980, D'Angelo Law, Bookstacks (5 vols.; loose-leaf; updated 3x year)
Westlaw: PATLAWF

Statutes & Legislative Histories

Title 35 of the U.S. Code is the section that outlines United States patent law. 

Chisum on Patents contains selective legislative histories and materials, such as congressional committee reports, for various patent acts.

The following compiled legislative histories for patent acts are available at the D'Angelo Law Library. See the Federal Legislative History research guide for information on how to compile a legislative history for other patent statutes.

Compulsory Licensing of Patents: A Legislative History
Print: J74.C31 S62 cong.85 sess.1 SR.236 no.12, D'Angelo Law, Bookstacks

Government Assistance to Invention and Research: A Legislative History
Print: J73.C313 cong.86 sess.1 SR.53 no.22, D'Angelo Law, Bookstacks

Single Court of Patent Appeals: A Legislative History
Print: J74.C313 cong.85 sess.2 SR.236 no.20, D'Angelo Law, Bookstacks

American Inventor's Protection Act of 1999

American Inventor's Protection Act of 1999 Information (from USPTO)
Internet: United States Patent and Trademark Office

American Inventor's Prevention Act of 1999
Internet: Congressional Research Service Report

Patents and Innovation: Issues in Patent Reform
Internet: Congressional Research Service Report

Summary of the New Rules Governing the Examination and Publication of U.S. Patent Applications
Internet: White & Case, LLP

Case Law Research


The United States Patents Quarterly
Print: XXKF2975.3.B87, D'Angelo Law, Bookstacks
Online: BNA Intellectual Property Library

Finding tool

The United States Patents Quarterly. Annual Digest.
Print: XXKF2975.3.U52, D'Angelo Law, Bookstacks

Electronic Source for Patent Decisions

Westlaw: FIP-CS
Internet: Supreme Court Cases about Patent Law (from the Legal Information Institute, Cornell)
Internet: Patent and trademark cases from Federal Circuit Court via IPO (from 1996)

Administrative Law Research

Title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations is the section of the CFR that includes regulations affecting patents.


A person who wishes to appeal the decision of a patent examiner refusing to grant a patent may take an appeal to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences. The Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks hears other matters by petition.

Board of Patent Appeals & Interferences

Westlaw: FIP-PTO
Internet: Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (USPTO)

The United States Patents Quarterly
Print: XXKF2975.3.B87, D'Angelo Law, Bookstacks
Online: BNA Intellectual Property Library

Commissioner of Patents

Decisions of the Commissioner of Patents
Print: T223.M, Crerar, Bookstacks (1907-1963)
LexisNexis: PATENT;COMMR (1981-present)
Westlaw: FIP-PTO

The United States Patents Quarterly
Print: XXKF2975.3.B87, D'Angelo Law, Bookstacks
Online: BNA Intellectual Property Library

Finding Articles in Journals and Law Reviews

LexisNexis and Westlaw both provide databases specifically for finding articles on intellectual property law.

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