The Supreme Court just issued a decision in the Medtronic case, and it was a unanimous reversal of the See CAFC. Since the Supreme Court first reviewed a patent decision by the See CAFC in 1996 (the See CAFC was formed in 1982, but it was 14 years before the first review by the Supreme Court), the Federal Circuit has been affirmed a fraction of the time and reversed unanimously a majority of the time.
Has any court’s reasoning ever been so soundly and consistently rejected by the Supreme Court?
If the purpose of the See CAFC was to make life easier by unifying patent law, it’s arguably done that. It might be nice if that “unified” court actually got most of the important patent questions right, but I guess you can’t have everything. (To be fair, the See CAFC did get affirmed 3 times in the 2010-11 term, but the reversals started again the next term with Mayo v. Prometheus, which was unanimous.)
I get that there’s a certain sense of prestige that comes with having a specialized court for one’s area of law. But wouldn’t it be better to have the courts of appeals get it right more of the time?