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Trademark Law: Laws & Regulations

Laws, Regulations, & Procedures

United States Patent and Trademark Office is the agency that passes rules and regulations governing trademarks.

The laws, rules, and procedures that govern trademark law are found in two different sources, the United States Code (15 U.S.C - Trademarks) and the Code of Federal Regulations (37 C.F.R. Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights).

The United States Code contains laws passed by Congress.

The Code of Federal Regulations contains rules/regulations passed by governmental agencies.

Electronic Sources for Regulations

Code of Federal Regulations

37 C.F.R. Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (E-CFR is free through GPO.Gov)

Code of Federal Regulations (FDSYS is free through GPO.Gov (1994-2012))

Federal Register (Free through

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

HeinOnline (Paid Subscription-Available in Library)

Lexis (Paid Subscription)

WestLaw (Paid Subscription)

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.

Tracking New Regulations

Several web sites track agency happenings, including rule-making processes, notices in the Federal Register, and agency decisions.  A few of these web sites are listed below. - 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." - Provides a user-friendly way to use and search the Federal Register.

Subscriptions to RSS feeds of all notices from the USPTOand the topic of Trademarks are available at

Electronic Sources for Statutes

United States Code

15 U.S.C Chapter 22 -Trademarks

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

Print Sources

37 C.F.R. is available in print at KF70 .A3 (current year)

15 U.S.C. is available in print at KF62 .A2 (current year)

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