• Key Advantages of Patent Enforcement at the United States International Trade Commission
  • December 10, 2009 | Authors: Christopher A. Hughes; Tony V. Pezzano
  • Law Firms: Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP - New York Office; Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP - Washington Office
  • Companies seeking to enforce patents have historically pursued infringers by civil litigation before the United States District Courts. Such litigation afforded patent owners a trial by jury, the possibility of money damages and perhaps punitive damages, and an almost sure injunction in the event of a favorable judgment. Although such civil litigation continues to be the most common way to enforce U.S. patent rights, companies seeking to enforce their patents against foreignmanufactured products have increasingly chosen to pursue infringers by administrative litigation before the United States International Trade Commission (“ITC”) -- particularly in circumstances where the accused product is made in China. This article briefly describes an administrative action before the ITC under the U.S. international trade laws, and discusses why an ITC action may be a preferable enforcement choice for companies facing foreign competition.