By The Honorable Jimmy V. Reyna | 62 Am. U. L. Rev. 779 (2013)
Upon joining the judiciary as a Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, I was eager to become immersed in the varied legal subject matter of the Federal Circuit. My anticipation was not disappointed, but it was surpassed by the pleasant discovery of the manner that international trade law and patent law have intersected in my professional life. To me, the patent and the tariff have married.
Prior to joining the bench, I practiced international trade and customs law in Washington, DC for over twenty-five years. This meant providing real-time assistance to companies in meeting their commercial objectives in the context of an international business environment. This rich experience has given me a unique and multifaceted perspective to the issues inherent in the matters I now handle as a Circuit Judge. This perspective has proven invaluable in dealing not only with the complex legal issues in our cases, but also inunderstanding the myriad of vexing technical and commercial issues that comprise the rich subject matter jurisdiction of the Federal
Often, I hear the Federal Circuit characterized as “the nation’s patent court.” While there is no question that Congress created the Federal Circuit to bring about uniformity in the patent laws, Congress did not stop there. Congress created a unique nationwide jurisdiction that is at once diverse, challenging, and highly interesting—spanning from international trade disputes to government contracts; personnel actions to veterans appeals; and even from vaccine injuries to Native American claims. This volume of the American University Law Review’s Federal Circuit review certainly illustrates that diversity.