GOVERNMENT > The Three Branches > Judicial Branch > U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit was created in 1982, by the merging of the U.S. Court of Claims and the U.S. Court of Customs and Patent Appeals. The court hears appeals in cases from the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the U.S. Court of International Trade, the U.S. Court of Veterans Appeals, the International Trade Commission, the Board of Contract Appeals, the Patent and Trademark Office, and the Merit Systems Protection Board. The Federal Circuit also hears appeals from certain decisions of the secretaries of the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce, and cases from district courts involving patents and minor claims against the federal government.
The court has 12 judges, who are appointed for life by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The court is located in Washington, D.C.