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Intellectual Property Law: Regulations

Tracking Regulations

Several web sites allow you to track agency happenings, including rule-making processes, notices in the Federal Register, and agency decisions. These include:
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.  You can subscribe to RSS feeds by Agency or Topic.  For example, you can subscribe to feeds for the USPTO or the topic Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights

Laws, Regulations, & Procedures

The laws, rules, and procedures that govern intellectual property law are found in three different sources:

United States Code (U.S.C.)
Contains laws passed by Congress.


Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.)
Contains rules/regulations passed by governmental agencies.

Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP)

Contains the procedures that govern patent law.

  • Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP)
    Available from

  • Manual of Patent Examining Procedure
    Available on HeinOnline
    Available on LexisNexis

Because the United States Patent and Trademark office and United States Copyright office are an agencies, they can pass rules/regulations that govern patents,trademarks and copyrights. 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.