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Home Archive Volume 62 Volume 62, Issue 4 2012 International Trade Law Decisions of the Federal Circuit
2012 International Trade Law Decisions of the Federal Circuit

By John R. Magnus & Sheridan S. McKinney| 62 Am. U. L. Rev. 963 (2013)

When the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit was established by the Federal Courts Improvement Act of 1982 it was vested with the former jurisdiction of its predecessor courts, the U.S. Court of Customs and Patent Appeals and the appellate function of the U.S. Court of Claims, as well as exclusive jurisdiction to hear appeals from the U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC or Commission). The Federal Circuit’s jurisdiction differs significantly from its twelve sister circuit courts in that it derives exclusively from statutory subject matter jurisdiction. Because the court’s exclusive subject matter jurisdiction eliminates the possibility of a circuit split, international trade holdings of the Federal Circuit are infrequently reviewed by the Supreme Court, rendering the Federal Circuit the court of final appeal for most trade cases.

This Article reviews cases decided by the Federal Circuit, on appeal from the CIT or ITC, during 2012. Though not the busiest docket the Federal Circuit has contended with in recent years in terms of international trade cases, 2012 still saw at least one statutory reversal of a landmark decision. Other precedential decisions included five trade remedy appeals from the CIT, six customs appeals, also from the CIT, and four reviews of the ITC’s section 337 determinations. Among the trade remedy cases, the Federal Circuit addressed two scope rulings, two appeals for relief under the Byrd Amendment, one request to overturn a constructed value determination rendered by the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce), and one countervailable subsidy determination. Customs cases included two requests for refund of import taxes, one appeal of a customs classification ruling, two requests to compel U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Customs or CBP) to liquidate entries, and one denial—with an accompanying dissent—of a request to compel liquidation. The patent-heavy section 337 determinations appealed from the ITC included cases concerning printer ink cartridges, wind power turbines, cellular telephone technology, and integrated circuit devices.

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