Peter Menell: Authority of the International Trade Commission

We have published a new Patently-O Patent L.J. essay by Berkeley Law School professor Peter Menell that discusses the Section 337 authority of the International Trade Commission (ITC).

The ITC now conducts more full patent adjudications on an annual basis than any district court in the nation. The ITC’s six Section 337 administrative law judges (ALJs) focus almost exclusively upon patent investigations, making the ITC the only specialized trial-level patent adjudication forum in the nation. Given the importance of international trade to high technology markets, the ability to exclude goods at the border provides a valuable strategic option for patent owners. 

Consequently, all patent litigators and in-house patent counsel should be familiar with the ITC’s Section 337 authority. This article summarizes its key elements and calls attention to an upcoming conference – The ITC Comes to Silicon Valley (May 18, 2010) in San Jose – and the development of a comprehensive, up-to-date treatise: Section 337 Patent Investigation Management Guide.

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