Investigations of Unfair Practices in Import Trade (Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930)

As the global economy becomes increasing interconnected, imports continue to be an integral part of any national economy. International trading rules and domestic trade laws seek to ensure that imports cannot benefit from unfair trade practices. Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 is a trade remedy designed to address unfair import competition, the threat or effect of which is to destroy or substantially injure an industry in the United States, prevent the establishment of such an industry, or restrain or monopolize trade and commerce in the United States. The bulk of Section 337 cases involve infringement of U.S. patents and trademarks, as well as other intellectual property (IP) issues. However, Section 337 also addresses non-IP unfair trade issues, including price fixing, group boycotts, and palming-off. 337 proceedings are “in rem” and are handled before administrative law judges at the USITC with review by the full Commission. Remedies include an exclusion order or a cease and desist order.

Stewart and Stewart is able to work with clients’ in-house or outside IP counsel throughout the various stages of a Section 337 investigation, including:

  • preparation of pleadings;
  • presentation of matters before the U.S. International Trade Commission and Administrative Law judges; and
  • appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
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