ITC Section 337 Investigations

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is governed by a unique statutory scheme, and calls for a very specialized approach to defending a company’s intellectual property. In particular, Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 prohibits unfair methods of competition (including patent infringement) in connection with products imported, or sold for importation, into the United States. Successfully navigating a Section 337 investigation before the ITC requires both extensive IP litigation experience and deep, firsthand knowledge of how the ITC works. Our leading ITC practice can help.

Client Successes

  • Obtained a US$150M settlement from respondent on behalf of Spansion Inc. in a large-scale patent dispute at the ITC and in parallel district court actions in fast-paced venues in a dispute involving over a dozen patents related to flash memory.

  • Secured a positive outcome for HTC in a global patent dispute encompassing nine patents and three district court actions involving an additional nine patents related to various aspects of handset technology. This centered around an ITC investigation, multiple district court litigations, and litigation in Germany and the UK, where the complainant was seeking injunctions and billions of dollars in damages.

  • Successfully represented Thomson Licensing S.A. and Thomson Licensing Inc. as complainants at the ITC in a multi-patent action involving flat-panel LCD technology. We obtained a favorable ITC decision after two weeks of testimony. Thomson had been known for its CRT patent portfolio. The licensing of its patent portfolio was critical to Thomson's bottom line and its efforts to extract value out of its extensive patent portfolio. Significantly for Thomson, the victory in this matter broke the licensing logjam and resulted in the other LCD manufacturers taking a license to Thomson's LCD portfolio patents.

  • Achieved a successful outcome for complainant Rovi Corporation and its related subsidiaries to successful licenses from consumer electronics companies and major cable companies through multiple litigations in the District of Delaware, the Northern District of California, and the ITC relating to program guides and parental controls. Our team spearheaded a multi-year licensing campaign that has led to well over US$500M in licensing revenue for the digital entertainment technology company.  

  • Achieved a successful outcome for Broadcom in an ITC action before U.S. Customs and Border Protection to enforce an ITC exclusion order. Our work allowed Broadcom’s products to continue to enter the United States, thereafter requiring its competitor to bring an ultimately unsuccessful enforcement action.

  • Represented Tellabs, Ciena, Nortel and ADVA Optical Networking in an ITC investigation involving fiber optic tunable lasers. Negotiated a zero dollar settlement for all component manufacturers.

Guiding Clients to Success before the ITC

We have both deep and recent experience representing both complainants and respondents in Section 337 cases before the ITC, whether in a single matter or in conjunction with co-pending patent litigation matters.

Our lawyers have helped an array of clients secure successful outcomes before the ITC in Section 337 investigations.

We pursue parallel inter partes reviews (IPR) of the asserted patents to take advantage of more favorable standards in determining invalidity and to force the patent holder into taking positions that also compromise infringement.

A Leading ITC Practice

  • Our team has handled numerous high-profile “bet the company” matters for both Complainants and Respondents at the ITC and knows how to drive successful resolutions.

  • Our lawyers have served as counsel in more than 50 Section 337 investigations.

  • We have appeared before each of the presiding Administrative Law Judges (ALJs).

  • Included on our team is a former judicial intern to ITC Administrative Law Judge Thomas B. Pender.

  • Our team has multiple and successful experiences at the customs stage of an investigation in ensuring that products are not excluded.

Recognition for our ITC Practice

  • National Tier 1 Ranking in Patent and Intellectual Property Litigation, U.S. News & World Report’s and Best Lawyers joint ranking of “Best Law Firms”

  • Selected by IP decision-makers and corporate counsel as a top firm in the “Go-To IP Litigation Firm” and “Best for Complex IP Litigation” categories.

  • National Tier 1 Ranking for Intellectual Property Litigation by Benchmark Litigation.

  • Ranked among the Top 10 Litigation Practices in The American Lawyer’s Litigation Power Rankings.

  • Recognized as Trailblazers in Litigation by National Law Journal.

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