International Trade Commission Section 337 Litigation

International Trade Commission Section 337 Litigation


Section 337 investigations at the US International Trade Commission (ITC) are known for their speed, complexity, and the powerful threat of an exclusion order preventing the entry into and sale of products in the United States.

The Hunton Andrews Kurth ITC team has a history of handling these high-stakes investigations dating back almost 50 years: our lawyers formerly of Kenyon & Kenyon first became familiar with the venue in the 1970s. In the 1980s, they were joined by a former chief administrative law judge (ALJ) of the ITC, who helped develop the skilled practice that continues to thrive today.

Our current ITC team, recognized as a recommended practice in the Managing Intellectual Property IP Stars Handbook and led by a former attorney advisor to the ITC ALJs, has been involved in precedent-setting investigations and efficiently resolves investigations for our clients both before and after hearings. We also author the leading treatise on navigating intellectual property (IP) litigation in the ITC, “Unfair Competition and the ITC: A Treatise on Section 337 Actions,” published by Thomson Reuters and updated annually.

We have represented US-based and international companies in more than 50 Section 337 investigations during the past 10 years alone, appearing on behalf of complainants, respondents, and third parties. The Patexia 2020 ITC Intelligence Report named us one of the most active firms in the ITC: of approximately 400 firms involved in Section 337 investigations from 2014-2019, our team ranks #22 most active overall and #23 most active for respondents.

With clients ranging from Global Fortune 100 corporations who put their trust in us to represent them at the ITC year after year to businesses engaging us for the first time, we are routinely involved in investigations relating to billion-dollar markets in diverse industries and for diverse product types, including consumer retail goods, electronics, automotive and mobility, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and food additives. We have the specialized knowledge and comprehensive understanding of the unique challenges presented by litigating in the ITC necessary to lead clients through these investigations.

From institution to a final determination by the Commission, most investigations conclude in fourteen to sixteen months, with a hearing on the merits a mere seven to nine months after a complaint is filed, and an initial determination by an ALJ two to three months later. Discovery is swift and unforgiving, and broad in scope. On top of that, an ITC investigation includes proofs not required or considered in district court IP actions, such as importation, domestic industry, and the public interest.

Our goal is to guide your company to a satisfactory resolution with a minimum of disruption. We have an intense familiarity with the ITC’s distinctive rules, requirements, procedures, and judges; a depth of technical knowledge to tackle difficult issues of infringement and validity of IP rights; and a strong track record of achievement. We help lessen your burden by providing you with a game plan to take the offensive and put you in the most favorable position to prevail, by motion practice, hearing, or an advantageous business compromise.

Whether you are accused of violating Section 337 or are seeking to secure exclusion and cease and desist orders against an infringer of your IP rights, we will use our vision, wisdom, and drive to vigorously defend and protect the interests of your company.





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