Introduction to the Federal Circuit’s Subject Matter Jurisdiction

An Introduction to Veterans Law: Serving Those Who Served Us

Margaret Smiley Chavez

Executive Summary: The Federal Circuit is a court of appeals with exclusive jurisdiction over several important subjects, including veterans law. This memo first provides background information on veterans law, a history of the veterans affairs system, and an overview of the veterans claims process. Next, this memo presents two pressing veterans law issues: the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims’s (CAVC) newfound ability to certify class actions and the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act (AMA). The memo concludes with a brief biography detailing the career of our keynote speaker, Chief Judge Margaret Bartley, and provides a list of reference materials, including key vocabulary terms, precedential cases, and starting points for further research.


A Brief Introduction to Patent Law and the America Invents Act

Vincent R. Johnson II & Steven A. Fisher

Executive Summary: Patents give their owners exclusive rights to the “making, using, offering for sale, or selling” of new inventions and processes for a limited time. Typically, inventors and the companies that employ them file for patents. Patents play an essential in the economy— patents create legal monopolies for inventors and developers, therefore incentivizing technological genius, innovation, and production. Further, in exchange for these legal monopolies, patent owners reveal their inventions to the world—contributing to continued advancements in science, engineering, medicine, and more. Over the years, both Congress and the Supreme Court have heavily influenced the development of modern patent doctrine. Today, continuing rapid advancements in science and technology require lawyers to pay closer attention to the laws that influence and govern patent protection.


Book It! A Speedy Guide to Trademark Law and­

Shelby McGowan & Kane Smith

Executive Summary: This memo gives a broad overview of trademark law in the United States. After briefly discussing the purpose and policy behind trademark law, the memo identifies three requirements of an enforceable trademark right. Next, several enforcement strategies are discussed. Finally, the memo summarizes the issues that arose in the recent Supreme Court case In re and outlines the arguments in favor of and against the Court’s decision.


Government Contracting: A Brief Overview of The 2020 Field

Angela Gerrits & Nicole Robinson

Executive Summary: The federal government must obtain supplies, technology, and even some services from private companies; almost half of the federal government’s discretionary spending goes towards contracts,1U.S. Gov’t Accountability Off., Contracting Data Analysis: Assessment of Government-Wide Trends 1 (2017). and federal spending on contracting is increasing each year by billions of dollars.2WatchBlog, A Snapshot of Government-wide Contracting for FY 2019, U.S. Gov’t Accountability Office (May 26, 2020), Government contracts range from carpet cleaning to billion-dollar sections of the border wall.3James MacPherson, US Government Awards Largest-Ever Contract for Border Wall, (May 21, 2020), For Fiscal Year 2019, the top federal contractors were also the top defense contractors.4The top federal contractors included: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon. The Top Government Contractors in FY19, Bloomberg (2020), The field of federal government contracting has undergone changes in 2020 that, in combination with COVID-19, will impact large “household name” contractors and small businesses (including those owned by women, minorities, and veterans) alike. Foundational elements for the field remain, however, rooted in separation of powers and administrative law.


A Brief Introduction to International Trade

Sydney Jackson & Emily King

Executive Summary: To give attendees of the Federal Circuit Symposium a better understanding of the Federal Circuit’s role in decisions of international trade, this memo provides a brief overview of trade by outlining international trade’s governing bodies of law, the jurisdictions bodies, understanding recent United States tariff actions, and the impact of COVID-19.