Federal Circuit

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The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit sits in Washington, D.C. and handles all patent appeals, as well as appeals from the United States Court of Federal Claims. As of September 2022, this Court is 8-4 Democrat-appointed among active judges, and lacks a single Trump-appointed judge.

The Federal Circuit was established in 1982 by Congress to reduce the problem of forum shopping in patent cases. The Court merged two courts that had been handling patent appeals.

The Court is credited with reducing some inconsistencies. Its judges are more knowledgeable about patent law than other federal judges are.

In 2007, the Federal Circuit entered a rare unanimous opinion making it much harder for patentees to prove willful infringement, which entitles them to increased damages and attorneys fees.