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Trademark Law Research

An introduction to researching trademark law.

Introduction to Researching Trademark Law

A trademark is any word, name, symbol, or design, or any combination thereof, used in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from those of another and to indicate the source of the goods.  Federal trademark law allows for registration of trademarks, but registration is not required for trademark protection.  State laws and common law also create trademark rights.

This research guide is designed to showcase the best sources for trademark law research at SLU Law.  Some of the resources are freely available on the internet, but many are subscription services only available to members of the SLU Law community, and some only on campus or at the law school.  Both print and electronic resources are represented in the guide.

Trademark law research can involve primary legal sources such as statutes, cases, and administrative law.  To find out the legislative intent behind particular statutory language, legislative history research may be necessary.  When you begin researching trademark law, it can be helpful to start with secondary sources and practice aids like treatises, loose-leafs, law journal articles, and other background materials.  These sources offer analysis, commentary, or restatements of primary law and can also help locate and explain primary sources of law.  As you develop and frame your research questions, consulting current awareness tools will help you stay up-to-date on legal developments that relate to your area of interest.  This guide will help you find each of these types of resources.