Fun Facts about the United States court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

* The Federal Circuit was created in 1982 by the Federal Courts Improvement Act. At 25, it is the newest of the federal courts of appeals. * The Federal Circuit has two characteristics that make it unique among its sister circuits: - Jurisdiction based on subject matter not geography - Nationwide, exclusive jurisdiction over most subject matter areas assigned to it * Areas of Federal Circuit Subject Matter Jurisdiction: International Trade, Government Contracts, Patents, Trademarks, Certain Money Claims against the Federal Government, Federal Personnel, and Veteran’s Benefits * Sources of appeals to the Federal Circuit: All federal district courts United States Court of Federal Claims United States Court of International Trade U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims United States Merit Systems Protection Board Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences Trademark Trial and Appeals Board Boards of Contract Appeals U.S. International Trade Commission Office of Compliance of the U.S. Congress Government Accountability Office Personnel Appeals Board

however. The bill to create the Federal Circuit was not passed before the end of Carter’s term. Another important tool was the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act. its cases do not typically result in circuit splits. Consequently. In the 25 years of the Federal Circuit’s existence. Inc. and non-profit institutions to retain title to inventions created in whole or part with federal funding.L.C. From 1989 through 1996. Of these 55 cases more than 2/3 were in cases other than patent law. From 1996 to 2003. small business. Because the Federal Circuit primarily has exclusive jurisdiction. Court of Claims. Supreme Court Review: As a general matter. In recent years. A 1975 report of the Commission on Revision of the Federal Court Appellate System proposed a National Court of Appeals that would determine national law and resolve inter-circuit conflicts by deciding certain categories of cases referred to it by the Supreme Court and the courts of appeals. but it was supported by business leaders and renewed in 1981 and passed into law in 1982. The primary purpose of the court was to reinvigorate the nation’s industrial strength and technologic leadership by reviving the patent system. rejecting the Federal Circuits general rule that a permanent injunction will issue once infringement and validity have been adjudged without application of . One type of patent case that typically draws Supreme Court attention is if the Federal Circuit strays from generally applicable rules governing litigation in favor of special rules for patent cases. L. Of the 3500 cases decided on the merits in the last five years. the Supreme Court has granted certiorari in 15. A proposal drafted by the Department of Justice led to President Carter’s request in 1979 that Congress establish a court of appeals for a Federal Circuit that would combine the functions of two existing courts: the U.S. The Supreme Court’s 1996 decision in Markman v. MercExchange. The Supreme Court has heard 7 patent cases in the last three years. many of the cases heard by the Supreme Court result from the need to settle differences between the several circuit courts of appeals. The president urged congress to consider vesting the proposed court with jurisdiction to promote uniformity and predictability in federal tax cases and environmental cases. the Supreme Court has granted certiorari to it 55 times. Westview Instruments. It was one of a number of policy decisions adopted at the time to promote investment in research and development. Inc. (2006). the decisions of the Federal Circuit in its subject matter areas are the primary method for resolving disputes under applicable law. A committee appointed by Chief Justice Warren Burger in 1971 recommended creating a National Court of Appeals that would decide cases and screen petitions for appeal to the Supreme Court. (affirming the Federal Circuits determination that claim construction is a matter for the court and not the jury) seems to have been a turning point in the Supreme Court’s interest in the essentials of patent law. the Supreme Court heard twice as many patent cases on appeal from the Federal Circuit with the pace picking up even more after 2004. v. the Supreme Court heard only 4 patent cases on appeal from the Federal Circuit.S. Examples: eBay. the Supreme court has shown an increased interest in the Federal Circuit’s patent law jurisprudence. Court of Customs and Patent Appeals and the appellate jurisdiction of the U.Notes History: Federal Circuit was created after a decade of study and debate over reform of the federal judiciary to promote greater uniformity in certain areas and relieve pressure on the docket of the Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeals. The early decisions of the court have been credited with producing a resurgence in commercial activity and in scientific and technologic creativity. Neither proposal for a National court of Appeals was adopted. which permitted universities.

the traditional rules of equity that generally govern issuance of injunctive relief. Unlikely that such a dramatic step would be taken any time soon. but the debate is likely to continue. Supreme Court has also inserted itself into the operational aspects of patent law. economy. Co.S. holding that the Federal Circuit had applied too narrow and rigid a conception of the obviousness inquiry required by Section 103 of the Patent Act. In April of this year. . The increased attention by the Supreme Court has lead to increased attention by academics and policy-makers who have begun suggesting a relaxation of the exclusivity of the jurisdiction of the Federal Circuit over patent cases.. which is most likely a reflection of the major role that patent law now plays in the U. v. the Supreme Court decided KSR International. Teleflex. Inc. particularly since it would undermine the rationale for creating the court in the first place.

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