Unfair acts connected to imported "articles" are unlawful under Section 337. The U.S. International Trade Commission – the agency tasked with administering Section 337 – recently ruled that data transmissions from abroad are imported articles and subject to the statute. At issue was data used to domestically produce 3D-printed dental devices, which were found by the ITC to infringe the asserted patents. But more broadly, the Digital Models investigation signals that the ITC can be a powerful weapon against many other unfair acts involving cross-border electronic transmissions, such as copyright infringement and trade secret misappropriation.
Section 337's Remedies against Unfair Imports. Two remedies are available to complainants bringing Section 337 actions: exclusion orders, and cease and desist orders (CDOs). Exclusion orders block importation at the ports, and are administered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. CDOs, on the other hand, are administered by the ITC and prohibit domestic dissemination of goods found to violate Section 337. Remedies are in force typically within about 18 months after filing the complaint.
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