Customs enforcement is an often-overlooked aspect of patent protection. The US Customs Service can stop infringing goods at the border, once they have received an order from the ITC (“International Trade Commission”).
An ITC action is relatively fast, since a ruling must be made within one year, and the issues are limited. This compares very favorably with a normal patent litigation, which can take much longer and – because the issues are not very limited – can become much more expensive than an ITC action.
To start an ITC action, a complaint is filed with the ITC. Once a favorable ruling is made, the resulting order can be taken to Customs for specific enforcement.
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