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United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

New Petitions and Appeals

Where to File

Appeals from a U.S. District Court, the U.S. Court of International Trade, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (excluding vaccine compensation cases), and the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims are initiated by filing a notice of appeal and paying the docketing and filing fee with these courts’ respective clerk’s offices.

All other proceedings, including writs, are filed directly with the Federal Circuit’s Clerk’s Office.  When appealing U.S. Patent and Trademark Office decisions, the notice of appeal must be timely filed with the Patent and Trademark Office with simultaneous transmission to the Clerk’s Office and payment of the filing fee.  See Fed. Cir. R. 15(a)(1).

Counseled Cases

Counsel must first register for electronic filing (external) with the Federal Circuit before being able to submit a new petition for review or notice of appeal directly to this court (or in appeals from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, a copy of the original notice of appeal filed there first).

Counsel will be permitted to submit a new petition or appeal electronically with this court after registering even if the court has not yet processed an application for bar admission.  Please review the relevant section of the Electronic Filing Procedures (pdf) for additional instructions.

Unrepresented Cases

Unrepresented parties will not be able to file case-initiating documents with this court through the court’s electronic filing system (external), even if they are registered filers.  Instead, all case-initiating filings from unrepresented parties must be received in paper or transmitted to the court as a PDF attachment via email.  Only case-initiating documents will be accepted by email; all other documents or messages received by email will neither be accepted nor processed.  See Fed. R. Cir. 25(a)(1).

Before filing an appeal or petition to the Federal Circuit, unrepresented parties are encouraged to review the court’s limited appellate jurisdiction, which is different from the other regional circuit courts.

The Federal Circuit does not have jurisdiction over any criminal, bankruptcy, immigration, or state matters.  Specifically, the Federal Circuit also cannot hear appeals from decisions of other U.S. Courts of Appeals; appeals from other U.S. Courts of Appeals should be directed to the U.S. Supreme Court.