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Foster, Murphy, Altman & Nickel, PC
ITC Section 337 Litigation

Section 337

Section 337 of the U.S. trade laws (19 U.S.C. § 1337) provides a remedy for certain unfair practices related to imports. Unfair practices actionable under Section 337 include infringement of U.S. patents, trademarks, trade dress, copyrights and other intellectual property rights, misappropriation of trade secrets, and a variety of other unfair competition and other unfair trade practices.

Section 337 is administered by the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”), an independent, quasi-judicial Federal agency with broad investigative responsibilities on matters of trade. Proceedings under Section 337 at the ITC are heard initially by Administrative Law Judges with final decisions made by the full Commission. The proceedings are expedited, typically leading to a final disposition and remedy within 16 months from the date of filing. The principal remedy, known as an exclusion order, bars importation of all infringing products and is enforced by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Our lawyers have decades of experience in these actions, having appeared in more than 195 investigations since Section 337 took its current form in 1974, representing more than 18% of such investigations.


U.S. Customs Border Enforcement

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is charged with assisting in the border enforcement of U.S. intellectual property rights (“IPR”) in a variety of contexts, including enforcement of Section 337 orders, trademark and copyright recordation, counterfeiting, and gray market imports.


Foster Murphy Altman & Nickel, PC

Foster, Murphy, Altman & Nickel has one of the strongest and most experienced Section 337 practices in the country, having appeared in more than 195 Section 337 cases in private practice, which represents over 18 percent of the cases filed since 1974, when Section 337 took its current form. The Firm is nationally recognized and ranked by Chambers & Partners, Managing Intellectual Property and Legal 500, and is considered a go-to firm for Section 337 experience and guidance.

Dave Foster, Barbara Murphy and Jim Altman are all former Presidents of the ITC Trial Lawyers Association (ITCTLA), and David Nickel is currently the President of the ITCTLA. Jim is a former Chair of the American Intellectual Property Law (AIPLA)’s ITC Committee and Kandis Gibson is the current Vice-Chair of the AIPLA ITC Committee and of the ABA’s ITC Committee.

Dave Foster was centrally involved in the drafting of the modern version of Section 337 and its implementing regulations, and has appeared in more than 80 ITC investigations. Barbara Murphy has appeared in more than 75 investigations. Jim Altman has appeared in more than 60 Section 337 matters. David Nickel has appeared in more than 70 investigations. Susan Koegel has appeared in more than 45 investigations. And Kandis Gibson has appeared in more than 30 investigations.

Our experience embraces all aspects of Section 337 investigations, including preparing complaints; engaging in extensive and concentrated discovery; handling expedited motions; appearing in hearings before numerous Administrative Law Judges; briefing issues of violation and remedy to the Commission; and engaging in appellate review.

We have represented both domestic and foreign companies pursuing and defending against Section 337 relief in cases involving all types of unfair acts, including patent, trademark, copyright and/or trade dress infringement, as well as claims of false advertising, trade secret misappropriation, and gray market goods, and other forms of unfair trade practices, across virtually every industry and technology. We have represented a wide range of parties – both complainants and respondents – from countries around the globe.

As most Section 337 investigations involve patent infringement, our lawyers often collaborate and work effectively and efficiently as co-counsel with our clients’ existing patent counsel in these fast-paced investigations, providing much needed expertise in assisting these firms and clients through the rigorous demands of a Section 337 investigation.

Visit our representative engagements page to see the full list.


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