The ITC is a federal administrative agency that conducts investigations of “unfair practices in import trade” under 19 U.S.C. § 1337, commonly called Section 337.
Section 337 prohibits the importation of products into the U.S. that infringe valid U.S. patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Section 337 also prohibits “unfair methods of competition and unfair acts” in importation, including misappropriation of trade secrets. Under Section 337, complainants may seek powerful injunctive relief in the form of an exclusion order stopping infringing products at the border. An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) presides over an investigation of a Section 337 complaint through proceedings that resemble litigation in U.S. district courts, but with some critical differences.
The ITC is a forum that has skyrocketed in popularity over the last two decades. Since 2000, complaints at the ITC have increased by over 290%. Though the ITC is only one of about 90 venues in the U.S. in which a patent infringement lawsuit can be brought, the ITC heard over 32% of all U.S. patent trials in 2021.
View the full ITC overview.
Our statistics page offers a decade’s worth of data tracking the annual numbers and types of ITC Section 337 investigations, merits determinations, the outcomes of 100-day early resolution proceedings, and more.
View the statistics.