Home   About   Attorneys   Contact


James B. Altman
Direct: (202) 822-4103
Email: jaltman@fostermurphy.com

James Altman represents U.S. and foreign clients in unfair trade litigation, concentrating on Section 337 investigations before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), as well as antidumping, countervailing duty, and safeguard cases. He draws upon his background in science and technology, as well as his broad experience in administrative and regulatory litigation, to assist clients with international intellectual property and trade remedy issues.

Mr. Altman is a leading Section 337 practitioner, having represented clients in more than 25 Section 337 cases. He is the immediate past-President of the ITC Trial Lawyers Association. In addition to his broad experience in traditional Section 337 proceedings, Mr. Altman has considerable experience in post-Order enforcement issues before the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and represented a complainant in one of the rare "Temporary Exclusion Order" proceedings to actually advance to a hearing at the ITC. Mr. Altman also helps clients with international intellectual property enforcement outside the United States.

Mr. Altman frequently lectures and coordinates conferences and presentations on Section 337, and publishes on IP and ITC issues.

In addition to his Section 337 work, Mr. Altman has litigated extensively before the U.S. Department of Commerce, the ITC, and in NAFTA dispute settlement proceedings in trade remedy matters. Among other major representations, Mr. Altman represented the Province of British Columbia, the largest softwood lumber producer in Canada, in the Softwood Lumber III countervailing duty trade remedy litigation from 1991 to 1995. He was also one of the lead lawyers representing Weyerhaeuser Company, the largest producer of softwood lumber in the world, in the Softwood Lumber IV antidumping litigation from 2000 to 2006.

Mr. Altman's early career focused on complex economic and technical litigation and intellectual property issues. While attending Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, Mr. Altman was an Associate Editor of the California Law Review and a member of the Ecology Law Quarterly. He has B.S. and M.S. degrees in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is a registered patent attorney.

Rankings and Recognition

  • Legal 500: Intellectual Property: Patent Litigation - International Trade Commission, 2008

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Past President, International Trade Commission Trial Lawyers Association
  • International Trade Committee, Section of Intellectual Property Law, American Bar Association
  • International Trade Committee, Section of International Law, American Bar Association

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

Court Admissions

  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • United States Court of International Trade


  • J.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1978
  • M.S. (Physics), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1975
  • B.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1971

Representative Engagements

Section 337 Matters

  • Home Vacuum Packaging Machines, 337-TA-496 (Tilia v. The Holmes Group, et al.): Represented complainant Tilia in the first fully litigated temporary relief (TEO) proceeding to be brought before the ITC in almost seven years, and thereafter secured a settlement that favorably terminated the action prior to a hearing on permanent relief.
  • Flash Memory Devices, 337-TA-552 (Toshiba v. Hynix), and NAND Flash Memory Devices, 337-TA-553 (Hynix v. Toshiba): Represented complainant Toshiba in its investigation against respondent Hynix for infringement of its patents. Also represented Toshiba as a respondent in a retaliatory investigation commenced thereafter by Hynix. Those cases were recently resolved post-trial in a favorable settlement.
  • GPS Chips, 337-TA-596 (SiRF Technologies v. Global Locate) and 337-TA-602 (Global Locate v. SiRF Technologies): Represented SiRF as a complainant in an investigation involving integrated circuit technology for global positioning systems and also as a respondent in a counter-investigation involving similar basic technology.
  • Inkmarkers, 337-TA-522 (Sanford v. Beifa, et al.): Represented respondent Ningbo Beifa in a case involving the trade dress of its ink marker products. The action was ultimately settled.
  • Systems for Detecting Computer Viruses/Worms, 337-TA-510 (Trend Micro v. Fortinet): Represented respondent Fortinet in both a patent action and a subsequent enforcement action commenced by Trend Micro. The action was ultimately resolved by way of settlement.

International Trade Remedy Matters

  • Kraft Liner Board from the U.S., China AD case, 2006: Obtained the lowest antidumping import duty margin for our client of all the investigated U.S. exporters to China.
  • Softwood Lumber from Canada, 2001-2006: Represented largest producer of softwood lumber in the world in the largest antidumping case ever. Our client's most recent antidumping import duty margin was only 2.2%. The case has now settled.
  • Softwood Lumber from Canada, 1990-1995: Represented the Government of British Columbia in the CVD case. Successfully defended appeals before a NAFTA bi-national panel and ECC.

1899 L Street, NW, Ste 1150 • Washington, DC • 20036 • phone: 202.822.4100
© Foster, Murphy, Altman & Nickel, PC All Rights Reserved