The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals announced
that Chief Judge Randall R. Rader will be stepping down as Chief Judge on May 30, 2014. Judge Sharon Prost will succeed Judge Rader, who will remain active on the bench.
The Federal Circuit is a unique court of appeals because its jurisdiction is not based on its geographic location, but rather on particular subject matter. It is most well known for having exclusive jurisdiction
over patent appeals from all U.S. District Courts.
Nominated in 1990 by President Bush, Judge Rader has been one of the more outspoken and influential judges in the area of patent law. Although there are rumors being circulated as to why Judge Rader has stepped down, we should remember that there are always two sides to every story. Judge Rader could have remained within the Beltway all of these years, but, instead, he made an effort to assist practitioners across the country. We should keep this in mind in the coming weeks.