International Trade Commission (ITC)


Coupling the strengths of the firm's Patent Litigation and International Trade practice groups with their deep technical experience, the U.S. International Trade Commission ("ITC") Section 337 practice at Baker Botts provides experienced legal representation to clients worldwide. We closely monitor the filing of ITC complaints on behalf of our clients so we can act immediately when a complaint is filed in the ITC. Because the deadlines for discovery in the ITC are as little as 10 days and the hearing to determine liability for infringement usually occurs about 6-9 months after filing, every day counts in an ITC proceeding. Often, the complainant has had significant time to prepare its infringement case, and the respondent must use what little time there is to formulate its defenses before discovery starts.

ITC Litigation Experience and Staffing:

We understand complexities of litigating in the ITC, we understand technology and we are adept at managing complex international trade issues under intense time pressure. For both complainants and respondents, we seek business solutions outside the courtroom that will accomplish a client’s objectives. Appeals from the decisions of the ITC in patent cases are heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. We have a robust Appeals practice and have handled innumerable appeals to the Federal Circuit, other Federal Circuit courts and the United States Supreme Court.

Our partners and associates benefit from broad patent litigation and/or ITC experience; we assemble teams with thorough knowledge of the ITC, its investigative staff and its administrative law judges. Our group includes a former President of the ITC Trial Lawyers Association and we have gained insight serving as lead counsel to clients across a broad spectrum of industries.

About the ITC:

The U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC” or “Commission”) is a venue for resolving unfair trade practices, including patent disputes. Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 provides for the investigation of any unfair act in the importation of articles into the United States, including the enforcement of intellectual property rights.

While almost all Section 337 investigations involve the alleged infringement of U.S. patent rights, the statute authorizes investigations to enforce other intellectual property rights such as trademarks, trade secrets and copyrights, as well as address other unfair methods of competition.

If the Commission finds a violation of Section 337, it may issue an exclusion order banning imports of the infringing goods. It may also issue a cease-and-desist order requiring a party to stop all commercial activity relating to the infringing products subject to substantial civil penalties for violation. The Commission also issues temporary exclusion and cease and desist orders to curb infringing activity through the imposition of a bond pending formal resolution of the investigation.

Each remedial order issued by the Commission is reviewed by the President through the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to ensure there is no negative impact on U.S. foreign policy. Thereafter, final determinations by the Commission are appealable to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.