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Research Guide: Patents & Laws

Patents & Laws

Material Type           In-text Citation              Reference                                                        
U.S. Constitution  The United States Constitution governs the rights and responsibilities of all U.S. citizens. If making a passing reference to the U.S. Constitution in-text, you do not need to cite it in your reference list (see example on left). If you are using specifics to support or defend your argument then cite it as stated in The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (see below).
U.S. Constitution  


See the official APA Style Blog about citing the U.S. Constitution here: or consult the current edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation.

U.S. patent

(U.S. Patent No. 7,860,344, 2010).

Fitzpatrick, B. G. (2010). U.S. Patent No. 7,860,344. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Give the date the patent was issued rather than the application date.

Court decision

(US v. Madoff, 2009).

Give as many dates as is given in the decision. The name of the case is in italics.

US v. Madoff, 586 F. Supp. 243 (S.D.N.Y. 2009).

Give case name, volume of source, source name, page number; in parenthesis give the court and state abbreviation followed by year. Follow the Bluebook for abbreviations.

State statute

(Fair Housing Act, 2011).

Statute name and year.

Fair Housing Act, 2011 Fla. Statutes §§ 760-760.20-760.37 (2011).

Statute name, year of source, source, sections, and year of statute.



Legal Citation Resources

Legal Information Institute at the Cornell School of Law. Choose an option on the left side of the page to find the abbreviation you need. Includes state, journal, court, and case name abbreviations.