IP: ITC Foreign Based Misappropriation Of Trade Secrets Actions

SI Group’s ITC complaint serves as a cautionary tale of the risks associated with the increasingly competitive global landscape, particularly manufacturing of products in newly industrialized or developing countries.

July 31, 2012

Last fall, the Federal Circuit's decision in TianRui Group Co. Ltd. v. ITC lit up the blogosphere. In TianRui, a case of first impression, the Federal Circuit held that Section 337 of the Tariff Act gives the International Trade Commission (ITC) the authority to restrict the importation of goods produced through the misappropriation of trade secrets, even if the acts of misappropriation occurred abroad. The rationale for this rests with the ITC's statutory authority over "unfair methods of competition and unfair acts in the importation of articles... into the United States," as provided by Section 337(a)(1)(A). Commentators opined that similar ITC actions were sure to follow. 



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