Francis C. Browne, 70, a former copyright and patent lawyer who served as a trial judge on the U.S. Court of Claims for eight years before retiring in 1983, died May 26 at a hospital in West Palm Beach, Fla., after a heart attack.

Judge Browne lived in the Washington area for more than 35 years before moving to Florida following his retirement from the bench. He was a resident of West Palm Beach.

He was a partner in the old Washington firm of Browne, Schuyler, Beveridge, and DeGrandi when he was appointed to his judgeship. He was a past president of the International Association for Protection of Intellectual Property and a member of the American Chemical Society.

Judge Browne was a 1936 graduate of the University of Akron in his native Ohio and earned his law degree at George Washington University. He served with the Army Air Forces in North Africa during World War II. He retired from the Air Force Reserves in the early 1960s with the rank of colonel.

He had been a member of the choir of Little Flower Catholic Church in Bethesda and the Kenwood Golf and Country Club and the Cosmos Club.

Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth Ann, of West Palm Beach; three sons, Richard C., of Rockville, James F., of Arlington, and David F., of Norfolk; two daughters, Barbara Ann Elliott, of San Francisco, and Martha Louise Schwartz of Boise, Idaho, and Bahrain; a sister, Bernadette Slaven, of Akron, and 12 grandchildren.