U.S. Court of International Trade Expands Role of Customs’ Enforcement of Section 337 Exclusion Orders and Renders Substantive Decision on Patent Claim Construction and Infringement; Customs Appeals Decision to the Federal Circuit


The recent decision of the U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) in Corning Gilbert Inc. v. United States could mark a watershed for the enforcement of exclusion orders issued by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) under Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930. If affirmed on appeal, the decision will significantly expand the role of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in the enforcement of exclusion orders issued by the ITC. The decision also will confirm that the CIT provides importers with an avenue for judicial review of such enforcement decisions, including making substantive patent claim construction and infringement determinations.Customs appealed the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“Federal Circuit”) on March 29, 2013, and a final decision from the Federal Circuit is expected early next year.

Background -

The case arose from CBP’s exclusion of an entry of coaxial cable connectors made by Corning Gilbert pursuant to a general exclusion order (GEO) issued by the ITC in 2010 at the conclusion of a Section 337 investigation. The GEO prohibited the unlicensed entry of coaxial cable connectors that infringed claims 1 or 2 of U.S. Patent 6,558,194. Corning Gilbert was not named as a respondent in the investigation, and the ITC issued the GEO after all the respondents in the case either defaulted or entered a consent decree. Corning Gilbert protested CBP’s denial of entry to CBP under 19 U.S.C. § 1515(a). After its protest was denied, Corning Gilbert sought review of the adverse ruling at CBP Headquarters, which confirmed the denial of protest. Corning Gilbert subsequently sought judicial review in the CIT of CBP’s denial of the protest. Based on its examination of the evidence and on a construction of the claims of the patent, the CIT concluded that Corning Gilbert’s merchandise did not infringe the ‘194 patent and should not be excluded from entry by the ITC’s GEO. The CIT thus ordered CBP to admit Corning Gilbert’s merchandise.

Please see full alert below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© King & Spalding | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


King & Spalding on:

Popular Topics
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.