The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has exclusive jurisdiction over patent and other IP-related appeals. The court is given the congressional mandate to bring uniformity to patent law and often hears matters appealed from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the International Trade Commission (ITC), and the U.S. district courts. But the Federal Circuit is not just a “patent court”—it also has jurisdiction over appeals involving veterans’ benefits, international trade, and government contracts.
For new appellate lawyers who are beginning their appellate practice, particularly in areas such as patent litigation and veterans’ disability, appearing before the Federal Circuit can be daunting because of its complex circuit rules and the court’s domain expertise in highly specialized and technical areas. Below is a list of procedural and substantive issues to consider and help you improve your chance of success on appeal before the Federal Circuit.