Intellectual Property Suits in the United States Court of Federal Claims

By Judge Mary Ellen Coster Williams and Diane E. Ghrist

©2017. Published in Landslide, Vol. 10, No. 1, September/October 2017, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.

Known as “the People’s Court,” the US Court of Federal Claims (USCFC) was created by Congress as a forum for suits against the government for monetary damages. The USCFC consists of 16 judges appointed by the president and confirmed by the US Senate for terms of 15 years. Appeals from the USCFC are resolved by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The USCFC is unique in the federal trial court system in that it has nationwide jurisdiction, and hears a variety of claims against the US government for money damages, including patent and copyright infringement, government contract disputes, Fifth Amendment takings, tax refund claims, tribal claims, military and civilian personnel cases, and Vaccine Act appeals.

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