U.S. International Trade Commission

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is the ultimate in high-stakes litigation, as a loss in the ITC inflicts devastating financial consequences. Since the ITC can exclude entire classes of devices from being imported into the United States, success depends on counsel who can guide companies through this fierce battleground.

Further complicating matters are the ITC's unique demands. The Commission moves at a breakneck pace - more than twice as fast as a typical U.S. litigation - and has dozens of ITC-specific rules and regulations. Victory demands extraordinary precision and skill.

These rigorous elements are why companies around the world rely on Orrick to protect their most innovative products from exclusion, or to halt competitors' infringing goods. Orrick has participated in 50 ITC investigations in the last five years alone. As demonstrated in the experience listed below, Orrick earned its reputation as a destination ITC practice by combining technical savvy and litigation power with practical ITC experience.

  • Hitachi Metals and Metglas v. Advanced Technology & Materials: We defended AT&M, a Chinese state-owned enterprise, from a rare trade secret ITC investigation. Our team's innovative approach focused on combating the deficiencies in the allegations of misappropriation, as opposed to whether the accused technologies "practiced" the trade secrets. This strategy put early pressure on the complainants and minimized the discovery for our clients. As a result, we won a complete victory when the complainants unilaterally moved to terminate the investigation at the close of fact discovery, without any concession or settlement agreement.

    Ultravision v. LED Panel Industry: Ultravision filed an ITC complaint to broadly block the importation of most modular LED display panels, regardless of whether or not the importer is a named party. The panels at issue are used in displays such as New York's Times Square, London's Piccadilly Circus and sports stadiums. Six respondents retained Orrick to protect their business. We successfully convinced Ultravision to dismiss or stay its claims against some of our clients' customers, saving these customers significant costs in defending against the claims. We continue to litigate this matter.

    Microsoft v. Barnes & Noble: We successfully represented Microsoft in the ITC. The investigation stemmed from Microsoft's request that Barnes & Noble license its IP for use in the Android-powered e-reader, the Nook. After Barnes & Noble refused, Microsoft filed suit in the ITC. Microsoft hired Orrick to represent it with respect to Barnes & Noble's patent misuse defense. The ITC rejected that defense before trial, clearing the way for settlement negotiations, which concluded with a mutually beneficial strategic business partnership between the two companies.

    Motiva v. Nintendo: We secured a complete victory on behalf of Nintendo against leading plaintiff's lawyer Mark Lanier. The case threatened 40% of Nintendo's market for its most successful product, the Nintendo Wii. The Commission found that Nintendo's Wii system does not infringe Motiva's patents and that it failed to establish a domestic industry. The Federal Circuit affirmed in a published and frequently-cited opinion. See Motiva, LLC v. Int'l Trade Comm'n, 716 F.3d 596 (Fed. Cir. 2013).

    Advanced Research Corporation v. Fujifilm and Oracle: We defended Fujifilm and Oracle in an investigation relating to magnetic data storage tapes. We successfully resisted the complainant's motion to amend and broaden the scope of the investigation and negotiated favorable settlements for both clients shortly before the trial was scheduled to begin.

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