When you think of products that may be investigated for unlawful importation into the United States, you probably don’t consider items like barcode scanners, backpack chairs, televisions, and pool enclosures. And yet, all these have already been investigated for unlawful importation just within this year.
For all of these cases, the charges brought were intellectual property infringement.
Section 337 and the ITC
The International Trade Commission (ITC) is the agency responsible for investigating these cases in the U.S. Their work hinges on Section 337 of Title 19, a piece of legislation which prohibits the sale or importation of items which infringe upon a valid and enforceable U.S. patent, copyright, or trademark.
The ITC’s own records indicate that the number of Section 337 investigations conducted each year has been rising steadily for the past half century: [Read more…]