World Intellectual Property Organization

United States of America

The Constitution of the United States of America

Year of current version:1787
Date of entry into force of original text:June 21, 1788
Date of Text (Adopted):September 17, 1787
Type of Text:Constitution / Basic Law
Subject Matter:Other
Notes:
As the supreme law of the United States, the Constitution specifies the powers and duties of the three branches of the federal government and reserves all unenumerated powers for the states and the people. The Constitution has only been amended twenty-seven times. Understanding of the Constitution is influenced by implementing legislation and by judicial precedent (court decisions), particularly of the Supreme Court; however, only judicial review is ultimately determinative of what the Constitution does or does not permit.

The Constitution gives Congress the power to enact laws relating to patents and copyrights in Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, which reads “Congress shall have power . . . to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.”

The authority of Congress to provide for the registration of marks which are used in interstate commerce stems from the commerce clause (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3) of the Constitution, which reads 'Congress shall have power . . . to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.'
Available Texts: 
English

The Constitution of the United States of America The Constitution of the United States of America, Complete document (pdf) [338 KB]

Spanish

La Constitución de los Estados Unidos de América La Constitución de los Estados Unidos de América, Complete document (pdf) [109 KB]

WIPO Lex No.:US181

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