Everything You Need to Know About Litigating Patent Cases Under Section 337 at the ITC

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The International Trade Commission (ITC) is an important forum for litigating patent disputes involving imported products, whether the patent owner is a large or small corporation, individual inventor, or non-profit entity.  Known as Section 337 investigations, these proceedings allow patent owners to exclude infringing products at the border.

Section 337 proceedings are fast, typically concluding within 16 months, and offer unique remedies in the form of Customs-enforced exclusion orders.  Any patent owner considering enforcing their patent should consider Section 337 proceedings at the ITC as an alternative to district court litigation.  Parties named as respondents must understand the unique nature of these investigations or face exclusion of their products from the US market.

The first part of this seminar will provide a basic introduction to Section 337 – what a complainant needs to prove, what defenses can be raised by respondents, what remedies are available, the basic procedure of a Section 337 investigation, and how a Section 337 investigation compares to district court litigation.  The second part of the program will cover some hot topics that are currently being litigated at the ITC and at the Federal Circuit under the statute.  The program will be of interest both to novices and those with more experience in Section 337 investigations, including in-house and outside counsel.

Educational Objectives:

• How to evaluate the pros and cons of litigation at the ITC vs. district court
• How to put together a complaint under Section 337
• How to successfully defend a patent case at the ITC
• How to make sure your arguments are properly preserved for appellate review
• How to maximize the benefit of an exclusion order if successful

Who would benefit most from attending this program?
Outside counsel, in-house counsel, and corporate executives who are involved in patent litigation and strategic planning.



Mr. Gary Hnath is a partner in Mayer Brown’s Washington, D.C. office, where he focuses his practice on intellectual property litigation and counseling, including disputes involving patent, trademark and copyright infringement, and trade secrets.  He has participated in numerous District Court cases, several Federal Circuit appeals, and over 40 investigations at the International Trade Commission under Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930.

Mr. Hnath is a leading authority in the area of Section 337 litigation, a former president of the ITC Trial Lawyers Association, and former Chair of the ITC Committee of the American Intellectual Property Association.  He has lectured throughout the United States and Asia and written widely on the subject of Section 337 investigations.  Mr. Hnath has successfully represented both patent holders and companies accused of infringement in cases involving a variety of technologies.  He was lead counsel for the first company in China to win a Section 337 case after trial at the ITC.  

Mr. Hnath is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and in front of various federal courts including the Supreme Court of the United States.  He earned his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School and his B.A. from Michigan State University.


Mr. Paul Hughes is a senior associate at Mayer Brown and focuses his practice on briefing and arguing cases in appellate courts.  He has argued in the Supreme Court and has worked on more than 120 appellate matters.  Mr. Hughes has particular experience in Federal Circuit appeals of Section 337 proceedings, addressing issues that include the scope of domestic industry under Section 337, the ITC’s authority relating to alleged infringement of trade secrets abroad, and international patent exhaustion.

At Mayer Brown, Mr. Hughes assists with the Yale Law School Supreme Court Clinic, which handles matters involving civil rights, immigration, and criminal defense before the Supreme Court.  He has previously held appointments as an adjunct professor at Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, and Yale, where he taught international and constitutional law.

Mr. Hughes is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, New York, every federal court of appeals, and the Supreme Court of the United States.  He earned his J.D. from Yale Law School, his M.A., with distinction, from Georgetown University, and his A.B., summa cum laude, from Georgetown University.


Ms. Anne Goalwin has been a Supervisory Attorney in the International Trade Commission’s Office of Unfair Import Investigations (“OUII”) since 2006. Before then, she served as a Senior Staff Attorney in OUII. Prior to joining OUII, Ms. Goalwin was engaged in private practice in Philadelphia, where she concentrated on Commercial Litigation. Ms. Goalwin holds a degree in Chemistry from the Johns Hopkins University and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law. Before entering law school, Ms. Goalwin worked as a chemist in the pharmaceutical industry.  Ms. Goalwin has spoken about intellectual property law issues, particularly involving Section 337, to groups of foreign visitors and at conferences throughout the United States.