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International Trade Commission – A Sledgehammer for Fighting Knockoffs

January 12, 2022

Contributors: Josh Pond

[Article PDF]

As e-commerce sales grew during the pandemic, so did the importing of knockoff products

With the ability to block unfair imports, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) offers a powerful tool for protecting the intellectual property of American companies—and more companies are making use of that tool, particularly against a tidal wave of knockoff products.

Under Section 337 of the U.S. Tariff Act of 1930, the ITC can prevent IP-infringing goods from coming into the country. In FY 2021, it took on 82 such cases, compared to 53 the year before.

Some of this rise is associated with the increasingly interconnected nature of global markets and simmering international trade tensions. However, a more immediate driver is the intersection of e-commerce and COVID-19. E-commerce sales have been growing for some time, but when the pandemic hit the U.S., e-commerce sales shot up 32 percent, growing from $596 billion in 2019 to$792 billion in 2020. This has created a boom in the importing of knockoff products, as online channels offer bad actors a direct and often unscrutinized pipeline to end consumers.

Read the complete article in the Litigation Forecast 2022

Joshua Pond
Partner – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1.202.624.2610