President Obama also nominated Todd M. Hughes to the court. If confirmed, Hughes will be the first openly gay person to serve on a federal appellate court. Here's some more information on Raymond T. Chen's background, from the White House's press release:
Chen received his B.S. in electrical engineering in 1990 from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his J.D. in 1994 from the New York University School of Law. After graduating from law school, he joined Knobbe, Martens, Olson & Bear, a boutique intellectual property law firm in Irvine, California, where he prosecuted patents and represented clients in intellectual property litigation. From 1996 to 1998, Chen served as a Technical Assistant at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, performing the functions of a staff attorney. At the end of his two-year term, he joined the USPTO as Associate Solicitor and remained in that role until his promotion to Solicitor in 2008. Since joining the USPTO, Chen has represented the agency in numerous appeals before the Federal Circuit and personally argued over 20 cases, issued guidance to patent examiners to ensure consistency with developing law, advised the agency on legal and policy issues, and helped promulgate regulations. He has co-chaired the Patent and Trademark Office Committee of the Federal Circuit Bar Association and is a member of the Advisory Council for the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders remain significantly underrepresented in the federal judiciary. If the number of AAPI judges reflect the general population, there would be a dozen AAPI federal appellate court judges out of the over 180 that are active. Only two currently federal appellate court judges identify as AAPI.
Here's more on Chen's nomination from the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, including statements from Congressman Judy Chu and Congressman Mike Honda: CAPAC Members Commend Nomination of Raymond Chen to U.S. Court of Appeals.