After a slow but steady start to 2020, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) saw a flurry of new complaints filed in the second half of the year. Eight new complaints were filed in December, resulting in a total of 57 complaints filed in 2020. As discussed in previous posts (e.g. here and here), the ITC adapted to the COVID-19 crisis and demonstrated its ability to conclude investigations in a timely manner. The post-pandemic rush to the ITC demonstrates the confidence of litigants that the ITC will continue to be a reliable forum for resolving IP disputes.
Section 337 Investigations at the ITC
The ITC is a federal administrative agency in Washington, DC with broad powers under 19 U.S.C. § 1337 (“Section 337”) to investigate and address unfair acts and unfair competition in the importation of articles into the United States. Most Section 337 investigations address issues of patent infringement, but Section 337 investigations can also address infringement