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ITC Section 337 Investigations

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) is one of the most popular venues for U.S. companies and foreign companies with a U.S. market presence to litigate their intellectual property disputes in what is known as Section 337 investigations. Companies must understand the unique requirements and steps involved in a Section 337 investigation since there are several key differences between these investigations and traditional district court litigation.

Although the ITC cannot award monetary damages, it can issue exclusion orders to prevent infringing products from entering the United States or cease-and-desist orders to stop the sale of infringing products already in the U.S. Litigating in the ITC is an aggressive, high-stakes approach that requires a skillful team with the technical knowledge and trial experience to achieve results for both complainants and respondents.

A&O’s U.S. IP Litigation team are leading practitioners of disputes and Section 337 investigations at the International Trade Commission (ITC) and bring a depth of knowledge of ITC law and procedures, and the Commission practices. Our team has the ITC trial expertise, technical knowledge and experience in unique ITC enforcement issues to resolve these high-stakes, competitive disputes.

Key highlights

  • Deep expertise in ITC investigations with decades of experience across 50+ investigations.
  • Lead partner Shamita Etienne-Cummings ranked among the Top 100 ITC Practitioners, according to Patexia, and recognized nationally in the ITC practice by IAM Patent 1000.
  • Recognized as the U.S. “Firm to Watch” by Managing IP.
  • Global platform that allows for seamless cross-border client service in parallel actions in the EU, England or Asia.

Our approach, which incorporates small firm key partner attention with the large firm resources required for the ITC, ensures our clients receive effective and efficient representation at every stage of the investigation, from first notice through hearing and the post-remedial stage, to customs enforcement.

More than 70 percent of our U.S. IP lawyers have additional science and technology degrees – they leverage their technical backgrounds, real life engineering expertise and trial experience to navigate the unique challenges of an ITC investigation.

How we can help

  • Represent clients in fast-moving Section 337 investigations involving patents and trade secrets.
  • Pursue parallel proceedings such as reexaminations, IPR challenges and nullity actions to the asserted patents as part of a multi-pronged strategy.
  • Leverage our global network to pursue foreign discovery issues wherever they arise.

News and insights

News: 19 July 2022

Allen & Overy secures another important ITC 337 victory for Google

Allen & Overy (A&O) defended Google LLC (Google) in multiple trials before the International Trade Commission (ITC) in a Section 337 investigation against California-based EcoFactor, who had been…

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Tram tracks on pavement through city

News: 22 February 2024

Allen & Overy’s Bijal Vakil on the decline of patent litigation cases in 2023 with Law360

Bijal Vakil, intellectual property litigation partner at Allen & Overy, shared his thoughts on why a decline of patent cases filing took place in 2023 with Law360. 

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Aerial view of a bridge

News: 15 February 2024

Allen & Overy advises Zendesk on its acquisition of AI-powered quality management platform Klaus

Allen & Overy has advised Zendesk, Inc. (“Zendesk”), a leading global technology company that provides software-as-a-service and customer experience (CX) products, on its acquisition of Klaus, an…

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News: 26 January 2024

Allen & Overy advises JDE Peet’s on its strategic transaction with Caribou Coffee

Allen & Overy (“A&O”) advised JDE Peet's (EURONEXT: JDEP), the world's leading pure-play coffee and tea company, on a long-term global license agreement to manufacture, market and sell Caribou…

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Our representative experience

Google

Google

Lead counsel in multiple ITC investigations and parallel district court actions involving mobile devices, smart home products, mobile applications and operating systems. Obtained significant and complete trial victories on behalf of Google in multiple ITC investigations, before the PTAB and in EU proceedings. 

Acciaierie Valbruna

Acciaierie Valbruna

Lead counsel in an ITC investigation involving trade secret misappropriation for stainless steel manufacturing. Obtained a trial victory with the Commission issuing a Limited Exclusion Order to prohibit the entry of stainless steel products manufactured or sold by the respondent using any of the misappropriated trade secrets. 

Innolux

Innolux

Lead counsel in an ITC investigation and parallel district court litigations involving TFT LCD panels. Obtained final determination of no violation. 

Honda

Honda

Counsel in an ITC investigation related to electric motors. Obtained determination of no violation after trial.

A multinational retail corporation

A multinational retail corporation

Lead counsel in an ITC investigation and parallel district court litigation involving Filament LEDs. Complainant terminated investigation after we filed summary determination motions – patents were determined to be invalid.

Panasonic

Panasonic

Lead counsel in multiple ITC investigations and parallel district court trials relating to various semiconductor processing and chip sets. Won on a motion for summary determination.

Chimei InnoLux, InnoLux, and Chi Mei Optoelectronics USA

Chimei InnoLux, InnoLux, and Chi Mei Optoelectronics USA

Lead counsel in ITC investigation involving LCD products. Obtained final determination of non-infringement or invalidity of all five asserted patents. The Federal Circuit upheld the Commission’s final determination providing a complete victory for our clients.

Suzhou Real Power Electric

Suzhou Real Power Electric

Lead counsel in an ITC investigation defending against patent infringement claims relating to robotic vacuum cleaners.

A multinational pharmaceutical corporation

A multinational pharmaceutical corporation

Lead counsel in ITC investigation and parallel district court patent and antitrust litigation involving pre-filled syringes for intravitreal injection.

Awards and achievements

Recognized IP Litigation practice

by IAM Patent 1000

Named U.S. “Firm to Watch”

by Managing IP