ITC Announces Exclusion Order Study

Yesterday’s Federal Register included a public notice indicating the U.S. International Trade Commission’s (“ITC”) intention to solicit input from complainants who obtained exclusion orders from the ITC following proceedings under 19 U.S.C. § 1337 (“Section 337”).

Section 337 addresses unfair practices in the import trade, and especially, for enforcing U.S. intellectual property rights at the border. An exclusion order may be “limited” or “general,” and it prevents articles found to be infringing from being imported into the U.S.

With this Notice, the ITC is seeking feedback, via a three-question survey of complainants with exclusion orders presently in place, regarding the effectiveness of exclusion orders to prevent certain imports. This effort is part of the ITC’s study to examine the efficacy of exclusion orders in blocking the importation of infringing products. As a formality, the ITC must first gain approval from the Office of Management and Budget to fund the survey.

We previously reported on a recent ITC case that addressed whether a complainant had established facts necessary to circumvent a limited exclusion order to justify the issuance of a general exclusion order. We also recently reported on the interplay of Section 337 proceedings and trade secrets.

Gibbons will continue to monitor developments and to provide counsel regarding ITC matters and legal developments.

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