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Intellectual Property Research Guide: Cases

The Intellectual Property Research Guide covers resources for researching patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, right of publicity, and other areas of intellectual property law.

About Databases-Cases

This page covers databases for finding court opinions relating to intellectual property.

Cases-United States Patents Quarterly (USPQ)

The USPQ is a reporter, published by the Bureau of National Affairs (BNA), which covers intellectual property cases, including federal and state court decisions, and administrative decisions, including the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI), the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), and International Trade Commission (ITC).  Coverage begins 1929.  It is available in the following databases.

Cases-Westlaw

There are a number of IP case databases within Westlaw.  To see a list of them, go to "Practice Areas" tab, then "Intellectual Property," then "Cases" or "Administrative Decisions & Guidance."  Click on "i" to get more information about coverage.  For state IP cases, go to the "States" tab, then select the state. Cases are not organized by IP under the state cases.  Examples of some IP case databases are listed below.

Cases-Lexis

There are a number of IP case databases in Lexis.  Go to "Practice Areas" tab, then select the relevant area of law, e.g. patent, trademark, or copyright.  Then, go to "Cases" or, for administrative decisions, look under "Administrative Materials."  For specific courts, like the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, use the "Cases" link on the home page and browse until you find the court. Examples of databases are listed below. 

Cases-Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit was established in 1982 from a merger of the Court of Customs and Patent Appeals (CCPA) and the Court of Claims Appellate Division (CCAP).  It has exclusive jurisdiction of appeals of patent decisions from U.S. district courts, BPAI decisions, TTAB decisions, and ITC final decisions relating to unfair practices in import trade.  Databases with only Federal Circuit decisions are listed below.  Other databases, such as the USPQ, also include Federal Circuit decisions, along with decisions of other tribunals. 

Cases-By Topic

Some publishers have organized cases by topic.  These topically organized resources are sometimes called digests or classification outlines.  In Westlaw, it is called the Key Number system.  These topic outlines are very useful for finding all the cases on a particular topic or for finding cases when term searching is difficult because, for example, the search terms are common.  

Subject Guide