The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has launched a pilot program to test whether early rulings on certain dispositive issues in some section 337 investigations could limit unnecessary litigation, saving time and costs for all parties involved.
The pilot program is part of the Commission's ongoing efforts to improve its section 337 investigation procedures for providing fair and speedy adjudication of complex intellectual property disputes and effective relief against unfairly traded imports, while reducing costs for all participating parties.
Under the pilot program, the Commission will identify, at institution, investigations that are likely to present a potentially dispositive issue, such as the existence of a domestic industry, importation, or standing.
For selected investigations, the Commission will direct the presiding Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) to expedite discovery and factfinding in the investigation (including an early evidentiary hearing) and issue an early initial determination (ID) on the potentially dispositive issue within 100 days of institution. Commission action on the ID is also expedited.
The Commission does not expect any delays in other investigations assigned to the presiding ALJ.
Details on the pilot program can be found in this article: http://www.usitc.gov/press_room/featured_news/pilot_program_will_test_early_disposition_certain.htm.