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OVERVIEW

The International Trade Commission (ITC) is an increasingly popular venue for patent enforcement. Under 19 U.S.C. §1337 (Section 337), the ITC conducts investigations and provides relief for U.S. patent holders against the importing of or sale of imported goods that infringe upon the patent.

A successful Section 337 patent action results in the exclusion of the infringing goods from being imported into the United States. Perkins Coie attorneys have the experience and resources to handle Section 337 actions in a wide range of technical fields, including semiconductors, electronics, networking equipment, pharmaceuticals, bioengineering, and chemical sciences.

We have significant experience in the intricacies of ITC law and procedure, adding a former ITC staff attorney and other partners who are regular players in this specialized arena. Our ITC practitioners, who include lawyers in Washington, D.C., on the Pacific coast, and in between, regularly represent both complainants and respondents.

Our strength in International Trade Commission practice is recognized worldwide:

  • Ranked #1 law firm for litigation cases in the ITC (Corporate Counsel 2013)
  • Recognized by the Financial Times as a "Standout” in Intellectual Property for the firm’s successful defense of client HTC in ITC Investigation No. 337-TA-726. Perkins Coie was one of only four firms in the top category (Standout) and one of only 15 firms ranked in the IP category overall
  • Recognized by Corporate Counsel magazine as one of the top 10 law firms with the most International Trade Commission cases in 2009, 2011, and 2012

Section 337 investigations are very fast paced, with trials often occurring less than one year after a case is instituted.

They are typically patent infringement actions brought by U.S. patent holders against imported goods, with foreign manufacturers and domestic importers and sales companies joined as respondents. With each investigation, the patent holder must prove that it has a domestic industry with respect to the patent in order to be entitled to relief. The action is a unique and powerful remedy that poses a daunting problem for foreign manufacturers, who risk losing their U.S. market, and for domestic importers and sellers, who risk a disruption of their supply of goods.

Patent holders seeking relief under Section 337 need knowledgeable counsel to navigate the complex issues, short time frames and high stakes associated with these investigations. Backed by a team of attorneys focused on ITC issues, Perkins Coie’s seasoned patent litigators know how to set goals, pick battles and focus early on key issues in Section 337 investigations.

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Experience

  • CASE STUDY

    Successfully defended a client in the first-ever “100-day” hearing initiated under the ITC’s new pilot program designed to resolve patent infringement allegations within 100 days. The ITC determined that there was insufficient economic investments in the United States relating to the asserted patents to establish a domestic industry and terminated the investigation.

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  • CASE STUDY

    We obtained the first-ever delay of an ITC exclusion order for our client based on public interest considerations in a decision, Inv. No. 337-710, that is routinely cited by others seeking similar relief. With the extra time, we were able to obtain approval for our client to import a “design around” alternative without disrupting its supply chain.

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  • CASE STUDY

    Successfully defended our client in a patent infringement action at the ITC using a small litigation team and a legal strategy that was recognized by the Financial Times’ U.S. Innovative Lawyers Report, 2013

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