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The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is by far the most important and closely-watched circuit court for tech companies, because it is the appeals court for all patent infringement litigations. Although the Supreme Court has taken appeals from the Federal Circuit with increased frequency, it is the Federal Circuit that is, day-in and day-out, refining the patent laws on patentable subject matter, infringement, damages and so forth. As demonstrated by Apple’s recent suit against Samsung, patent infringement awards can exceed $1 billion. An injunction can cripple a company’s sales and customer relations. However, reversals by the Federal Circuit have cost Lucent a $350 million verdict against Microsoft and cost Centocor a $1.6 billion award against Abbott Labs. Therefore, a consistent, reliable Federal Circuit is necessary to help the district courts run their patent infringement litigations, to assist companies with their patent infringement analyses and to limit these huge reversals of fortunes.

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