In Search of Institutional Identity: The Federal Circuit Comes of Age

43 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2008 Last revised: 5 Dec 2014

Date Written: August 14, 2008


This article continues my examination of the experiment in specialization that was undertaken when the Federal Circuit was established a quarter of a century ago. There is now a sharp division in opinion regarding the court's performance among the bar, the legal academy, economists, and the Supreme Court. The first part of the paper suggests that opinions diverge because these constituencies disagree on the appropriate criteria for evaluating the court's output. The piece ends with a discussion of the proposals that have been made for improving appellate decision making in patent cases and, more generally, for improving the use of specialized courts.

Keywords: patents, specialized adjudication, Federal Circuit

JEL Classification: O31, O34, K23

Suggested Citation

Dreyfuss, Rochelle Cooper, In Search of Institutional Identity: The Federal Circuit Comes of Age (August 14, 2008). Berkley Technology Law Journal, 2008, NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 08-47, Available at SSRN:

Rochelle Cooper Dreyfuss (Contact Author)

New York University - School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States
212-998-6258 (Phone)
212-995-4760 (Fax)

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