This Article suggests that the creation of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit was a successful experiment that proves a change in the legal philosophy behind the jurisdiction for federal appellate courts from exclusively general regional jurisdiction to a more specific national subject matter jurisdiction can be successful. This Article provides a historical analysis of how the Federal Circuit was created by presenting interviews from those involved in its creation. The Article then examines the legislative intent behind the creation of the Federal Circuit by looking at the congressional history and interviewing those who testified before Congress. Finally, the Article assesses whether the Federal Circuit has fulfilled congressional expectations by reviewing empirical data detailing the number of patent applications filed by and granted to United States inventors before and after the creation of the court, and by presenting interviews from five judges on the Federal Circuit (Chief Judge Randall Rader, Judge Pauline Newman, Judge Timothy Dyk, Judge Alan Lourie, and Judge William Bryson), a former head of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (Professor Gerald Mossinghoff), a former head of the Copyright Office (Professor Ralph Oman), and one of the most experienced Federal Circuit practitioners (Professor Donald Dunner). Ultimately, the Article concludes that a single intermediate appellate court with national subject matter jurisdiction has proven to be a successful experiment that has stood the test of time.
George C. Beighley Jr.,
The Court of Appeals for the Federal
Circuit: Has it Fulfilled Congressional
21 Fordham Intell. Prop. Media & Ent. L.J. 671
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/iplj/vol21/iss3/4