The Compendium of Federal Circuit decisions is a a database created to both standardize and analyze decisions of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  The Compendium includes all opinions, orders, and summary affirmances that were released on the Federal Circuit’s website—essentially all opinions since 2004 and all summary affirmances since 2007, along with numerous orders and other documents.  Multiple fields are coded in a standardized format that will allow future researchers to avoid recollecting fundamental fields such as case names or opinion dates.  The database also has the capacity for expansion, and new information about the decisions can easily be added.  Public access to the database is provided in an easy-to-use web-based interface that allows for immediate visualization of data.

The Compendium may be accessed here: https://fedcircuit.shinyapps.io/federalcompendium/.  Comments or corrections can be sent to jason-rantanen@uiowa.edu.  For additional descriptions of methodology and metrics as of early 2018, see Jason Rantanen, The Landscape of Modern Patent Appeals, 67 Am. U. L. Rev. 985 (2018).

Citations to the Compendium should use the following text, modified to appropriate citation format:

The Compendium of Federal Circuit Decisions, https://fedcircuit.shinyapps.io/federalcompendium (last visited M-D-Y) [hereinafter the Compendium].  For discussion of the methodology and contents of the Compendium, see The Compendium of Federal Circuit Decisions, U. Iowa, https://empirical.law.uiowa.edu/compendium-federal-circuit-decisions (last visited M-D-Y) and Jason Rantanen, The Landscape of Modern Patent Appeals, 67 Am. U. L. Rev. 985 (2018).

Currently, the compendium includes the following information about each document:

  • ID: A unique identifier assigned to each record
  • Case date: the date the document as released by the Federal Circuit
  • Year: the year the document issued
  • Origin: the court or tribunal that the appeal originated from
  • Case name: the full case title, based on the title provided on the Federal Circuit's website
  • Precedential Status: an indicator of whether or not the Federal Circuit designated the document as precedential
  • Duplicate: an indicator of whether or not the record is a duplicate or replacement of another document in the database
  • Appeal number: the docketing number assigned by the Federal Circuit
  • Document type: the type of document, such as opinion, order or Rule 36 summary affirmance
  • En banc: an indicator of whether the court designed the document en banc
  • Tribunal of origin: the specific tribunal that the appeal arises from, such as the PTAB (for PTO decisions only)
  • Dispute type: Identifies the general type of dispute, such as an IPR (for PTO decisions only)
  • Disposition - General: identifies the appellate court's disposition of the appeal, such as "Affirmed" (for PTO decisions only)
  • Judge 1: the last name of the first judge listed on the document
  • Judge 2: the last name of the second judge listed on the document
  • Judge 3: the last name of the third judge listed on the document
  • Opinion 1: indicates whether or not the controlling opinion of the judges was unanimous or a majority
  • Opinion 1 author: the last name of the author of the controlling opinion.  Also indicates if the controlling opinion is "per curiam"
  • Opinion 2: indicates the type of alternate opinion if the document contains one
  • Opinion 2 author: the last name of the author of Opinion 2
  • Opinion 3: indicates the type of alternate opinion if the document contains three separate opinions
  • Opinion 3 author: the last name of the author of Opinion 3
  • Notes: additional comments on entry
  • URL: the location of the document on the Federal Circuit's website
  • File name: the name of the file in the Compendium archive
  • Withdrawn: identifies whether the Federal Circuit has withdrawn an opinion
  • Dissent: identifies whether an opinion contains a dissent
  • Concurrence: identifies whether an opinion contains a concurrence
  • Cloud Link: opens up a copy of the document from a Google Cloud repository if one is available.
  • Number of Appeal Dockets: indicates the number of docketed appeals for the document (in development)
  • Appeal Dockets: indicates the appeal docket numbers for the document (in development)
  • Number of Original Tribunal Dockets: indicates the number of original tribunal dockets for the document (in development)
  • Original Tribunal Dockets: indicates the original tribunal docket numbers for the document (in development)
  • Number of Patents in Suit: indicates the number of patents in suit (in development)
  • Patents in Suit: indicates the patents in suit (in development)
  • Issue: Utility: Indicates whether the document addresses the issue of utility (in development)
  • Issue: PSM: Indicates whether the document addresses the issue of patent-eligible subject matter (in development)
  • Issue: 102: Indicates whether the document addresses a Section 102 issue (in development)
  • Issue: 103: Indicates whether the document addresses a Section 103 issue (in development)
  • Issue: Enablement: Indicates whether the document addresses the issue of enablement (in development)
  • Issue: Written Description: Indicates whether the document addresses the issue of written description (in development)
  • Issue: Definiteness: Indicates whether the document addresses the issue of claim definiteness (in development)
  • Issue: Obviousness-Type Double Patenting: Indicates whether the document addresses the issue of obviousness-type double patenting (in development)
  • Issue: Claim Construction: Indicates whether the document addresses the issue of claim construction (in development)

Data fields that are selected on the Display sub-tab can be downloaded directly to a .csv file. 

The current codebook may be downloaded here: PDF iconcodebook_for_the_compendium_of_federal_circuit_decisions_-_2019-06-26.pdf

Past codebooks are available here:

For archived copies of the database and application, visit the FederalCircuitCompendium repository on GitHub.

Compendium Updates

August 6, 2019: Database version 1.10 released.  This version contains documents through July 31, 2019 and support for additional fields.  New version of application released that supports additional fields.

July 5, 2019: Database version 1.01 released.  This version contains documents through June 28, 2019.

June 28, 2019: New version of database and updates to user interface.  Read more here.