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U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is a quasi-judicial federal government agency responsible for investigating and arbitrating complaints of unfair trade practices. The ITC adjudicates allegations of imported products that infringe U.S. patents, trademarks, and copyrights through its Section 337 proceedings.
The primary remedy employed by the ITC is to order the Customs and Border Protection to stop imports from entering the border. Additionally, the ITC may issue "cease and desist" orders against individuals determined to be IPR violators. Damages for IPR infringement cannot be received through ITC court proceedings; rightsholders seeking damages must file action with the U.S. federal district court.
Patent law Edit
In addition to being enforced in the federal courts, patents can also be enforced at the ITC. Specifically, certain patent owners can file a complaint with the ITC if imported goods infringe their patent or are made by a process covered by the patent's claims. If the ITC determines after an investigation that an imported good infringes a patent, the agency can issue an exclusion order barring the products at issue from entry into the United States, which the President can disapprove for policy reasons.
ITC decisions can be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.