(35 USC §123(a)) or a (15 CFR 123(a))?
USC means United States
Code; CFR means
Code of Federal Regulations
citations* are shorthand for the laws
and regulations that explain in precise terms what is needed in order for
the Federal government to do business. Each is a citation which refers to
a particular section of the law or its implementing regulations.
is signed by the President after being enacted by votes of the House of
Representatives and Senate. Many new laws are assigned a number in the
United States Code which reflects their relationship to similar laws or
laws that govern similar programs. The way laws are created follow a
formal process which you can learn more about from "How
Our Laws are Made."
of Federal Regulations is written to explain in detail how the laws are to
be carried out. When a law is written, it usually does not explain in
great detail what procedures are to be followed, nor does it include
descriptions of the special situations which can arise. This is the job of
the regulations, which govern the day-to-day business of the Federal
Regulations are written by the government agencies responsible for
the subject matter of the laws. The United States Patent and Trademark
Office writes the regulations concerning patents and trademarks which are
found in Title 37 of the CFR.
are diagrams explaining how to read these notations: