- Abbreviation for the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, more commonly known as the Federal Circuit. In the U.S. federal court system, each state has at least one U.S. District Court where all trials are held. Appeals are taken to Circuit Courts of Appeal, of which there are twelve, and the final appeal is to the U.S. Supreme Court. However, to ensure uniformity in patent law, the C.A.F.C. was established in 1982 to hear all patent appeals from the various U.S. District Courts. Thus, a criminal trial held in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, could be appealed to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting in Atlanta. A patent case tried by the Middle District, however, would be appealed to the Federal Circuit.
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