Volume 49, Issue 2
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BPLA Hosts ITC Conference
Jerry Cohen, Burns & Levinson
BPLA's new ITC Practice Committee teamed with the Washington, D.C. based ITC Trial Lawyers Association to present a conference on Tariff Act section 337 (19 U.S.C. sec. 1337) practice Friday April 13, 2018 at Suffolk U. Law School. Committee co-chairs Jerry Cohen of Burns & Levinson LLP and Michael Kudravetz of the Boston office of Finnegan Henderson, Farabow, Garrett and Dunner, LLP reported a successful interchange of CLE, practice tips at the seminar and sociability at an evening reception following the afternoon seminar. The panel and audience included many ITCTLA members from outside New England, and government lawyers from ITC's Office of Unfair Import Investigations (OUII) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). BPLA and ITCTLA thank Professor Andrew Beckerman-Rodau and Marketing Director Karen Katz of SULS for hospitality and good work with arrangements and access to the school's Conference Function Room and related facilities and support. Section 337 enables import exclusion of articles related to unfair competition (including litigation of statutory and non-statutory IP rights, antitrust and other forms of unfair practice) in a single venue with joinder of multiple respondents or even in rem bans extending beyond named respondents, with no jury, six highly experienced Administrative Law Judges, review by the Commission, USTR and ultimately by the Federal Circuit and an expanded view of sanctionable acts. ITC does not award damages but can issue cease and desist orders backed by monetary sanctions against violation of exclusion orders. The Commission provides, through its "investigations," an ultimate rocket docket proceeding with earlier termination in some investigations though the Commission's 100 day practice for dispositive motions, tight scheduling orders, no stay for concurrent PTAB or TTAB proceedings and a mediation program to encourage early settlement and consent orders as appropriate. Concurrent district court proceedings are stayed. Cohen and Kudravetz commented, "What's not to like?" and expressed welcome for more members of BPLA to join the committee and find answers to that question. Contact either of the co-chairs.
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