International Trade Commission Building

ITC Litigation

Capitalize on Sterne Kessler’s specialized experience handling the speed and rigors of a U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) Section 337 investigation.

Proceedings at the USITC are extremely fast, generally involve complex technologies and follow precise rules. Sterne Kessler has the specialized experience and insight required to handle the unique rigors and requirements of an ITC investigation — and get you the result your company needs.

The ITC is a forum for resolving intellectual property disputes involving unfair competition in the import trade — including allegations of patent or trademark infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets and violations of antitrust laws. The ITC conducts its investigation pursuant to 19 U.S.C. §1337 (commonly referred to as Section 337). These proceedings take, on average, 15 to 18 months and allow all parties to engage in full discovery. If the ITC determines Section 337 has been violated, remedies include an ITC order to the U.S. Customs and Border Enforcement to exclude the infringing articles from entry into the United States, as well as cease and desist orders that require the violating party to stop selling any infringing articles already imported into the country.

Section 337 investigations are complex — requiring a unique blend of litigation, administrative law, patent law and technical skills — and proceed at a very fast pace. Any adverse outcome can have serious and immediate consequences for commercial manufacturers, importers and retailers of accused products. Because of the fast-track nature of the proceedings, the complex issues involved in the accused technology, and the need to follow precise rules established by the ITC, there is little, if any, room for error. That is why you need a legal partner with the specialized experience and insight required to handle the unique rigors and requirements of such an investigation — a partner like Sterne Kessler.

There are clear and compelling reasons why so many companies turn to Sterne Kessler to handle their 337 investigations at the USITC:

  • We know the ITC process. We have successfully represented both complainants and respondents in nearly 50 Section 337 matters involving well-known international companies. This depth of knowledge and experience gives us strategic and tactical insights that enable us to win 337 investigations.
  • The deepest technical knowledge in IP. Most Sterne Kessler professionals hold an advanced-level degree, including 50+ Ph.D.s in science and engineering, and many more have significant industry experience. Our technical backgrounds enable us to get through detailed technical analysis to get up to speed on the technology at issue very quickly.
  • Close proximity to the ITC. Being in Washington, D.C. makes for greater cost and logistical efficiencies, which are especially critical in this kind of "fast-track" litigation and helps us to remain current and expand our knowledge base.
  • Fluent in more than 20 languages. This includes many key Asian languages often spoken by parties before the ITC.