a production of The Federal Circuit Assessment Project | www.FedCir.org


Note: Due to the effects of the Federal Circuit's en banc Phillips v. AHW, 415 F.3d 1303 (Fed. Cir. 2005), this tool is no longer a reliable preditor of the Federal Circuit's appraoch to claim construction.

This page is left here for historical purposes.

The Federal Circuit Predictor

If you know the panel, we'll predict the result!

This tool accepts as inputs the identity of the three-judge panel hearing a claim construction case at the Federal Circuit. It returns the (statistically) most likely methodological form of claim construction opinion that the panel will issue.


1 Select the panel:      
2 Click "Calculate":
3 The most likely form of claim construction analysis this panel will issue is the approach, with an percent probability.
(Re-select judges and press "Calculate" again to view the result for a different panel.)

Notes, Disclaimers, and Information

  1. Based on a dataset comprised of all claim construction opinions issued by the Federal Circuit from April 15, 1996 to November 1, 2002.
  2. Judges in [brackets] do not affect claim construction decisions in a statistically-significant manner, so panel probabilities including these judges should be used for amusement only.
  3. The statistical analysis underlying this tool is based on past behavior, and thus may or may not be a good predictor of future behavior. Your mileage may vary. This tool does not provide legal advice.
  4. To learn more about the distinction between procedural and holistic methodological appraoches to claim construction, see our Guide to Claim Construction Methodology.
  5. To learn more about the process by which the cases are categorized, see our Coders' Guide to the Claim Construction Project.

About Reliability

  1. As a formal statistical matter, the confidence level for judges without [brackets] is at least 90%. The confidence level for judges with [brackets] falls somewhere below that (though the results may well be correct). Accordingly, the predictions for panels containing one or more [bracketed] judges are less certain than for those panels containing only unbracketed judges.
  2. Note that the data underlying this tool -- the Federal Circuit's jurisprudence of claim construction -- is constantly changing. For this reason (among others) the results of this tool should be understood to be illustrative rather than definitive.
  3. We've compared the results of this tool to the actual results of the cases and found the following patterns:
       - For cases where the "probability" is greater than 90%, the predictor tool has been correct about 92% of the time.
       - For cases where the "probability" is greater than 80%, the predictor tool has been correct about 83% of the time.
       - For cases where the "probability" is greater than 75%, the predictor tool has been correct about 80% of the time.
       - For all cases in 2003 and 2004, irrespective of the "probability", the predictor tool has been correct over 75% of the time.

How it Works

  1. The predictor tool uses the results of statistical regression analysis of the effect of panel membership on the results (methodological approach: holistic, procedural) of claim construction opinions.
  2. This data was obtained in connection with, and is reported in, R. Polk Wagner & Lee Petherbridge, Is the Federal Circuit Succeeding? An Empirical Assessment of Judicial Performance, 152 U. Penn L. Rev. 1105 (2004).