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The ABCs of the ITC

April 17, 2013

The International Trade Commission (“ITC“) has become an increasing arena of interest lately in intellectual property disputes, as filing trends are on the rise. While still fairly few and far between, what ITC cases lack in numbers they make up for in speed (and, some would say, an associated burden on the parties).

Certain critics of the ITC have raised concerns that it is becoming an increasing refuge for patent trolls, inasmuch as the threat of an injunction still hangs over respondents (who may breathe easier in the federal court thanks to a landmark Supreme Court opinion in eBay v. MercExchange, making injunctions harder to get for non-practitioners of a patent). Likewise, complainants have the ability to sue a number of unrelated defendants over the same patent (something frowned upon in federal court following the America Invents Act).

The ITC has recently issued some statistics, however, that suggest those concerns may lack substance. Whether the anecdotes will catch up to the statistics or vice versa, in the meantime, we provide to our readers to consider the issue for themselves.

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