This new United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has jurisdiction over appeals in contract and patent infringement cases. The former Court of Claims' trial division has also been replaced with a new United States Claims Court. This court, inter alia, has been invested with the jurisdiction to conduct trials in contract and patent cases. Of particular interest to the government contracting community, is the provision of the Act regarding the contract formation or pre-award jurisdiction of the new Claims Court. The Claims Court has the potential to provide the most effective forum for the resolution of protests against the award of federal government contracts. Early decisions by the Claims Court defining both the court's jurisdiction over pre-award issues and the scope of review in cases found to be within the court's jurisdiction, however, raised substantial fears whether that potential ever would be reached. The March 23, 1983 decision of the new Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in United States v. Grimberg Co. and subsequent Claims Court opinions applying that decision now confirm those fears. Section I looks at the situation in government contracts cases before the creation of the new court. Section II briefly acknowledges the limitations of the former system, and how Congress sought to fix these problems in the Federal Courts Improvement Act. Then Section II turns to discuss the decision in US v. Grimberg.


Symposium: The Federal Courts Improvement Act: Prefatory Remark