Vol 1: Theory Vol 2: Analytical Methods
Edited by Ben Depoorter, Peter Menell and David Schwartz
Chapter 6: The Federal Circuit as an institution
The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is a unique institution. Unlike other circuit courts, the Federal Circuit’s jurisdiction is bound by subject area rather than geography, and it was created to address a unique set of problems specific to patent law. These characteristics have affected its institutional development and made the court one of the most frequently studied appellate courts. This chapter examines, through the use of empirical studies, the court’s development and describes the evolving qualities that have helped the Federal Circuit distinguish itself, for better or worse, as an institution. In particular, this chapter synthesizes the empirical literature involving uniformity, forum shopping, diversity and percolation, certainty and predictability, quality and formalism, court structure, characteristics and background of individual judges, internal dynamics, the use of en banc review, and the court’s interactions with other institutions.
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