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The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit was established under Article III of the Constitution on October 1, 1982 through the merger of the United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals and the appellate division of the United States Court of Claims.


The Federal Circuit has nationwide jurisdiction in a variety of subject areas, including:

  • international trade
  • government contracts
  • patents
  • trademarks,
  • certain money claims against the United States government
  • federal personnel
  • veterans' benefits

Where Do Cases Come From?Edit

Appeals to the court come from all federal district courts, the United States Court of Federal Claims, the United States Court of International Trade, and the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. The court also takes appeals of certain administrative agencies' decisions, including the United States Merit Systems Protection Board, the Boards of Contract Appeals, the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, and the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board. Decisions of the United States International Trade Commission, the Office of Compliance of the United States Congress and the Government Accountability Office Personnel Appeals Board are also reviewed by the court.

Who Is On The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit?Edit

The court consists of twelve judges who are appointed by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate. Judges are appointed to the court for life under Article III of the Constitution of the United States. When eligible, judges may elect to take senior status, which allows them to continue to serve on the court while handling fewer cases than a judge in active service. Each judge in active service employs a judicial assistant and three law clerks, while each judge in senior status employs a judicial assistant and one law clerk.

Chief JudgeEdit

  • Paul R. Michel

Circuit JudgesEdit

  • Pauline Newman
  • Haldane Robert Mayer
  • Alan D. Lourie
  • Randall R. Rader
  • Alvin A. Schall
  • William Curtis Bryson
  • Arthur J. Gajarsa
  • Richard Linn
  • Timothy B. Dyk
  • Sharon Prost
  • Kimberly Moore

Senior JudgesEdit

  • Daniel M. Friedman
  • Glenn Leroy Archer, Jr.
  • S. Jay Plager
  • Raymond C. Clevenger, III
  • Wilson Cowen

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