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Patents: Laws & Regulations

Laws, Regulations, & Procedures

The laws, rules, and procedures that govern patent law are found in three different sources, namely the United States Code (U.S.C.), the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.), and the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP).

The United States Code contains laws passed by Congress. The Code of Federal Regulations contains rules/regulations passed by governmental agencies, and the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure contains the procedures that govern patent law.

The federal laws governing patents are found in the United States Code Title 35.

Because the United States Patent and Trademark office is an agency, it can pass rules/regulations that govern patents and trademarks.

These rules are found in the Code of Federal Regulations Title 37, and add additional detail to the laws governing patents as set forth by Congress in U.S.C. Title 35.

The procedures for the examination of patents are found in the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure.

Tracking New Regulations

Several web sites allow you to track agency happenings, including rule-making processes, notices in the Federal Register, and agency decisions. Some of these web sites are listed below:

Regulations.gov - Promotes public participation in the regulatory process. Search proposed rules by agency and then subscribe to e-mail alerts when new notices are added to a regulation's "docket folder." You can also subscribe to an RSS feed of all notices from the USPTO in the Federal Register here.

FederalRegister.gov - Provides a user-friendly way to use and search the Federal Register. You can subscribe to RSS feeds by Agency or Topic. For example, you can subscribe to feeds for the USPTO or the topic Patents. 

Print Sources

37 C.F.R. is available in print at KF70 .A3 date and is located in the Reference Area of the Law Library.

35 U.S.C. is available in print at KF62 year .A2 and is located in the Reference Area of the Law Library.

Administrative Law Research

Federal regulations are authorized by legislation enacted by Congress. Some landmark legislation, such as the Clean Air Act and the Civil Rights Act, require execution via federal regulations. Agencies are often referred to as "regulatory" agencies, because they are empowered to create and enforce rules/regulations that execute the laws. Individuals and other entities can be fined, sanctioned, and criminally prosecuted for violating federal regulations. This libguide will provide you more understanding of administrative law and help you conduct administrative law research.

Electronic Sources

37 C.F.R (TITLE 37)-- PATENTS, TRADEMARKS, AND COPYRIGHTS

E-CFRs (Free through GPO.Gov)

FDSYS (Free through GPO.gov)

FEDERAL REGISTER (Free through federalregister.gov)

Fastcase (Paid Subscription - OK Bar Member/Available in Library)

HeinOnline (Paid Subscription-Available in Library)

Lexis (Paid Subscription)

WestLaw (Paid Subscription)

35 U.S.C (TITLE 35) - PATENTS

FDSYS (Free through GPO.Gov )

Fastcase (Paid Subscription- OK Bar Member/Available in Library)

HeinOnline (Paid Subscription-Available in Library)

Lexis U.S.C.S. (Paid Subscription)

Westlaw (Paid Subscription)

Manual of Patent Examining Procedure(MPEP)

USPTO (Free)

HeinOnline (Paid Subscription-Available in Library)

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