ITC Section 337 Enforcement Proceedings

Domestic and foreign companies seeking to block the importation of products that infringe United States intellectual property rights or otherwise compete unfairly should consider Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (“Statute”). Under the Statute, the International Trade Commission (“ITC”) has the power to exclude infringing products from entry into the United States.

The speed of 337 Investigations is fast. The timeline of a typical 337 Investigation is as follows:

337 Investigation Timeline (Typical)

Event

Month from Filing

Complaint Filed

 

Discovery

1 to 5

Evidentiary Hearing

6 to 8

Initial Determination

9 to12


The ITC is located in Washington, D.C. and has sole authority to investigate alleged Section 337 violations. Parties who fail to appear or otherwise cooperate are sanctioned and risk having the accused products blocked from importation. It is highly unlikely that a stay will enter even if post-grant review before the United States Patent Office is initiated.

Dickinson Wright’s experienced intellectual property litigators are intimately familiar with and cover all aspects of ITC investigations from pre-complaint preparations, to litigating cases through hearing, to working with U.S. Customs during enforcement proceedings, to appeals to the Federal Circuit. Our experience includes both the enforcement and defense of a wide range of technologies involving both Asian and European markets. We have particularly strong experience with the automotive industry.

A successful 337 Investigation litigation outcome is one that meets our clients’ business objectives.

Please visit our IP Litigation Blog to read more articles on Section 337 enforcement proceedings.