Skip to main content

Patent Law Research Guide

This guide covers the basic legal resources for United States Patent Law, including primary and secondary resources.

Finding Patent Law Periodical Articles

Besides using the journal and law review databases on Lexis and Westlaw, neither of which are comprehensive in coverage, and Google Scholar, which may not be current, you can conduct more focused journal research using these index-driven databases. They are particularly helpful when you receive too many results in your Google Scholar search. You can limit your results by selecting precise subject headings and adding precise date restrictions.

Use the Research Databases to search for multidisciplinary articles not found in LexisNexis or Westlaw, for example, JSTOR, Social Science Index, MedLine, Proquest’s Dissertations and Theses, PsycINFO, EBSCO Criminal Justice Abstracts, and various news and science and technology databases.

A suite of full-text & indexed databases tailored to various research needs.  Users can view (and simultaneously research in) the list and description of EBSCO databases by clicking on the “Choose Database” link from within any one of the EBSCO Databases. Connect to VPN for remote and wireless access.
  • EBSCO Legal Collection

    • Collection of about 250 law journals, including a mix of law-school based journals, peer-reviewed journals, bar journals, and other genres of legal literature.

  • EBSCO Academic Search Complete

    • A multi-disciplinary full-text database that indexes and abstracts over 10,000 publications, some law-related.  Includes the full-text of over 5,400 periodicals, including  more than 4,400 peer-reviewed journals. 

  • HeinOnline Law Journal Library

    • Out of the 2,700 full-text journals, all date back to inception and more than 2,200 include coverage to date, with no delay. Additionally, HeinOnline  contains 98% of the Top 500 Journals according to the Washington and Lee Law Journal Rankings Project. Learn more here.

  • Index to Legal Periodicals and Books (ILP)

    • Coverage: 1981 – Present;

    • Indexes over 2400 law review & journal titles (English-language law reviews, Bar Association publications and books).

    • Try Subject searches and Browse or Advanced Search.

    • Try starting with a known article to identify appropriate subjects assigned to your topic.

  • Legal Resource Index (LRI):  (Also known as LegalTrac) now on Lexis Advance, and Westlaw Edge.
    • Legal Resource Index (LRI) is also a controlled-vocabulary index of legal literature comparable in many respects to the Index to Legal Periodicals & Books (ILP), but with a focus that includes legal newspapers, bar journals, and other practice-oriented material (by comparison with ILP’s stricter focus on academic law journal content). LRI coverage generally begins in 1980, with a later starting date for certain individual publications.