The International Trade Commission (ITC) is a quasi-judicial federal agency that investigates and tries patent, copyright, and trademark disputes involving imported goods. More specifically, 19 U.S.C. § 1337 authorizes the ITC to hear complaints (“Section 337 actions”) brought by the owners of U.S. patents, trademarks and copyrights against allegedly infringing imported products.

The ITC is, in effect, a specialized court with the power to stop the importation, sale, and distribution of imports that infringe U.S. patents, trademarks, or copyrights. Unlike federal courts, ITC rulings can include a general exclusion order that extends beyond the specific import that gave rise to the original ITC action, to future products found to infringe the plaintiff’s IP rights. The ITC cannot award monetary damages – but damages are often difficult to obtain from foreign manufacturers in any case, and may be less important than injunctive relief when protecting a market from imported knock-offs.

The ITC’s streamlined procedures and power to order U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to block imports of infringing goods from reaching the U.S. market often allows for more timely remedies than can be obtained through patent infringement litigation.

Kolisch Hartwell IP attorneys have the litigation experience and the technical and scientific depth needed for effective advocacy at the ITC. We also have the substantive and procedural knowledge needed to successfully maneuver the complexity of ITC proceedings.

Our ITC services include:

  • Client counseling ITC procedures are uniquely fast-paced and complex. Our experienced team of attorneys advises businesses of all sizes, foreign and domestic, to determine whether instituting an ITC action is advisable, and how to respond to an adverse ITC action.
  • ITC litigation Kolisch Hartwell represents clients’ patent, trademark and copyright interests in Section 337 actions before the ITC. We have the flexibility, IP litigation skills and familiarity with ITC law to ensure our clients are well-represented. For a recent example of our successful representation of a client in an ITC proceeding, see ITC Inv. No. 337-TA-799, Initial Determination on Violation of Section 337 (2012).

Contact us for more information about ITC Proceedings.

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