This article is reprinted with permission from the May/June 2006 issue of IP Litigator magazine.

The protection of intellectual property rights concerns companies in virtually every industry. Moreover, internationalization of the marketplace has caused the issues of intellectual property protection and international trade to become entwined. This has perhaps become most evident with the substantial increase in the number of investigations filed under Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, at the US International Trade Commission (ITC).

Section 337 offers several advantages to those seeking to enforce their intellectual property rights at the border against infringing, imported products. Advantages over US District Court litigation, such as worldwide discovery, expedited hearings and effective remedies enforced by US Customs and Border Protection (Customs), make a Section 337 investigation at the ITC a highly effective vehicle for the enforcement of US intellectual property rights.