International Trade Commission (ITC)

The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) is a federal agency that advises the legislative and federal branches of the government with trade expertise. The ITC also regulates and adjudicates unfair trade practices in relation to copyright, trademark and patent infringement. One type of proceeding which is involved in Intellectual Property rights enforcement are “337 Investigations” authorized by statute under 19 U.S.C. §1337.

In 337 Investigations the ITC conducts investigations about unfair practices in import trade. Here, the complainant files a Complaint which causes the ITC to initiate an investigation into the complained of trade practice. If the ITC determines that there have been violations, then the ITC can issue an Exclusion Order to the United States Custom and Border Protection which will exclude the pertinent goods from entering the United States. Most Section 337 investigations involve infringement of United States Patents or United States Trademarks, but they may also involve unfair competition, misappropriation of trade secrets, trade dress infringement, passing off, and false advertising claims.

The SHERMAN IP team assists our clients in matters that go before the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) such as trade information services and IP-import investigations. Our firm also utilizes the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) to complete investigations and analysis on behalf of our clients.