The United States International Trade Commission's (ITC or Commission) new Interim Initial Determination (Interim ID) pilot program will address case-dispositive, or at least very substantial, issues prior to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) holding a full hearing on all issues in a Section 337 investigation. The pilot program bridges the gap between the ITC's 100-day program for early case disposition, and the summary determination stage of an ITC case.

The 100-day program has had some success, primarily for the early investigation of domestic industry allegations. But it has been used much less often for patent-related issues, even though the majority of Section 337 investigations involve patent infringement allegations. Also, in contrast with the prevalence of pleadings-stage rulings in district court patent cases, relatively few ITC investigations have been resolved by summary determination.

This article outlines the Interim ID program and explores its application in an area of patent law that has experienced explosive growth over the last decade, namely patent eligibility challenges under Section 101. This patent law issue, with its focus on the patent claims and specification and involving relatively few factual issues, is well suited for targeted discovery and legal review under the ITC's new program.

Read the full version of "Accelerating Patent Eligibility Decisions at the ITC" here

Originally published in Westlaw Today

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.