US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Federal Circuit or CAFC)
A US appellate court that is unique among the 13 US circuit courts of appeals because its jurisdiction is based solely on subject matter instead of geography (28 U.S.C. § 1295).
The Federal Circuit has exclusive jurisdiction over appeals from the decisions of:
District court cases arising under certain federal laws, including where the original action was based in whole or in part on a patent (www.practicallaw.com/0-502-3398) law claim.
Certain administrative agencies, including:
the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences of the US Patent and Trademark Office (www.practicallaw.com/9-383-7926) (USPTO) with respect to patent applications, interferences and reexamination proceedings commenced before September 16, 2012. An applicant or party to an interference proceeding may also file a civil action, which right is waived upon appeal to the Federal Circuit;
effective generally as of September 16, 2012, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (www.practicallaw.com/0-508-3165) of the USPTO with respect to patent applications, derivation proceedings, inter partes and post-grant reviews, and ex parte reexamination proceedings commenced on or after that date. An applicant or party to a derivation proceeding also has the right to a file a civil action, which right is waived upon appeal to the Federal Circuit; and
the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (www.practicallaw.com/4-503-8053) with respect to trademark (www.practicallaw.com/4-501-4858) proceedings. A party with the right to appeal a TTAB decision also has the right to a file a civil action, which right is waived upon appeal to the Federal Circuit.
Certain courts, including the US Court of Federal Claims, US Court of International Trade and US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
The Federal Circuit, located in Washington, DC, was formed in 1982 by the merger of the US Court of Customs and Patent Appeals and the appellate division of the US Court of Claims (Federal Courts Improvement Act, Pub. L. No. 97-164, 96 Stat. 25 (1982)). Information about the court, including copies of its opinions and orders, is available on its website.