International Trade Commission Cases (ITC Cases)
1. About The United States International Trade Commission (ITC)
2. Section 337
Investigations at the ITC
of Filing Cases at the ITC
4. Law Firms
Specializing in ITC Cases
5. Chinese Translators and Mandarin Interpreters Specializing in
ITC Patent Cases
About The United States International Trade Commission (ITC)
The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) is an independent, bi-partisan, quasi-judicial, federal agency of the United States with broad investigative responsibilities on a variety of matters of trade such as the effects of dumped and subsidized imports on domestic industries. While the ITC conducts global safeguard investigations, it has increasingly adjudicated cases involving certain unfair trade practices, such as subsidies, dumping, patent, trademark, and copyright infringement, as well as patent infringement cases.
Section 337 Investigations at the ITC
Section 337 investigations at the ITC look into allegations of certain unfair practices in import trade, such as the infringement of certain statutory intellectual property rights and other forms of unfair competition in import trade. Today, most Section 337 investigations involve allegations of patent or registered trademark infringement, while it also covers other forms of unfair competition, such as misappropriation of trade secrets, trade dress infringement, passing off, false advertising, and violations of the antitrust laws.
The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) is an independent, bi-partisan, quasi-judicial, federal agency of the United States that provides trade expertise to both the legislative and executive branches. Further, the agency determines the impact of imports on U.S. industries and directs actions against certain unfair trade practices, such as subsidies, dumping, patent, trademark, and copyright infringement.
Advantages of Filing Cases at the ITC
ITC's Section 337 is a unique tool that patent owners can use to bar infringing imported products from entry into the United States and prohibit the products’ sale in the United States.
Favorable judgments in Section 337 proceedings are especially important to because rulings place the winning party in a strong position over their competitors when it comes to licensing and royalty issues—not to mention the complete elimination of competitors that infringe a U.S. patent in the U.S. market.
ITC proceedings also offer advantages for the filing party as well. First, ITC proceedings are much more streamlined and fast-tracked than federal court litigation, as its responses to discovery requests and motions are generally due within 10 days of service compared to 30 days of the district courts. Thus, with its tight deadlines, the complete the process of discovery, hearing, initial Administrative Law Judge "ALJ" determination and the final ITC determination are normally done in 15 months, reducing legal fees and costs as a result of an expedited proceeding.
Second, the ITC's jurisdiction is established nationwide as has in rem jurisdiction over imported products accused of infringing U.S. IP rights, no matter where the allegedly infringing products or parts are imported into the United States. Failure to respond may result in default, and the defaulting party waives its right to participate in the investigation but is subject to any remedy issued by the ITC.
Third, ITC investigations may have unlimited discoveries with
few limitations, compared to 25 interrogatories of the federal
courts. More over, ITC's nationwide jurisdiction permits
the ALJs to issue subpoenas throughout the United States, and
the ITC jurisdiction on imports allows it effectively to compel
discovery throughout the world against any named party, greatly
discovery for the complainants.
Last, the remedies provided by the ITC also yield significant
benefits, as they are enforceable by U.S. Customs and the ITC
with little need for input by the complaining party. Although
the ITC does not provide for monetary remedies, a positive
result in a Section 337 investigation for a complainant can have
devastating consequences for respondents that import infringing
goods into the United States as the ITC may issue either a
“limited” exclusion order or a “general” exclusion order upon
determining that there is a violation of Section 337. A
limited exclusion order prevents importation into the United
States of infringing goods manufactured by enumerated respondent
foreign producers. A general exclusion order prevents the
all infringing goods irrespective of the foreign source. Moreover, downstream products containing a component or part found to violate Section 337 can be covered by a limited exclusion order, effectively extending relief against a third party that exports the downstream product to the United States.
Law Firms Specializing in ITC Cases
In the United States, there are about a few dozen law firms that specialize in ITC cases. We will introduce them to you and provide you with insightful information in the future.
Chinese Translators and Mandarin Interpreters Specializing in ITC Patent Cases
Because of the seriousness of ITC cases, the requirements on the accuracies of the document translations and oral interpretations are the most demanding in the translation and interpretation industry. Only a handful of certified Chinese translators and interpreters have had good reputation for translating and interpreting for ITC cases. Please see Professional Certified Court Interpreters with Intellectual Property ITC Case Experiences and US Office of Chinese Patent and Intellectual Property Law Firm: JiaQuan IP Law Firm for details.