President Barack Obama this fall will have his first opportunity to put his stamp on the patent-heavy U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Judge Alvin Schall recently told the White House that he will take senior status in October. That will create the first of what could be as many as eight vacancies on the appellate court in the president’s first term.

Eight of the court’s 12 judges will be eligible to retire or to take senior status in less than two years. The judges currently eligible for senior status include Chief Judge Paul Michel and Judges Pauline Newman, Haldane Mayer and Alan Lourie. Those eligible to retire this year are Judges Schall, Timothy Dyk, Arthur Gajarsa and, in early 2010, Judge William Bryson. Four senior judges now sit on the court: Judges Daniel Friedman, Glenn Archer, S. Jay Plager and Raymond Clavenger.

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