The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (C.A.F.C.) has nation-wide jurisdiction over certain disputes that involve the Federal government including intellectual property, international trade, government contracts, and federal employee benefits. The court can hear appeals related to its subject matter from all the district courts, the Court of International Trade, administrative agencies like the Patent and Trademark Office, and many other government decision making bodies.
In the Federal Courts Improvement Act of 1982, Congress merged the Court of Customs and Patent Appeals with the appellate level Court of Claims to form the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to streamline claims against the government. This court is to be contrasted with the Court of Federal Claims established in the same bill that hears claims against the Federal government with claims higher than $10,000.
[Last updated in June of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]