Intellectual Property Partner Authors Article on the Misappropriation of U.S. Trade Secrets

World Intellectual Property Review | May.01.2013

This article, authored by Orange County intellectual property partner Mark Wine, discusses the misappropriation of U.S. trade secrets from U.S. companies by foreign companies, and the ability of U.S. Customs offices to exclude products made using such misappropriated information from the U.S. An excerpt from the article is included below.

U.S. courts have long abided by the policy that "foreign conduct is generally the domain of foreign law." In fact, in some areas of the law, the Supreme Court has even created strong legal presumptions against extraterritorial enforcement.

However, TianRui Group Co Ltd v US Int'l Trade Comm'n (TianRui) is emerging as an exception to this rule for matters involving trade secret misappropriation. TianRui's broad holding has extended the extraterritorial reach of the International Trade Commission (ITC), using the "unfair competition" language in Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930. In TianRui, the Federal Circuit affirmed the ITC's jurisdiction over matters involving trade secret misappropriation, even in cases where the misappropriation occurs entirely overseas.