Last Published: 7/22/2016

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) investigates claims regarding intellectual property rights violations by imported goods, including allegations of patent and trademark infringement. Section 337 declares it unlawful to import items that infringe utility and design patents, as well as registered and common law trademarks, and registered copyrights. USITC provides information on Section 337. USITC will conduct an investigation and if it determines that the imports violate Section 337, it may issue an exclusion order barring counterfeit or pirated products from entry into the United States, as well as a cease and desist order directing the violating parties to cease certain actions. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) enforce the exclusion orders.

The International Trade Commission (ITC) investigates and adjudicates allegations of unfair trade practices based on complaints filed by rights holders.  Upon completing an investigation and finding a violation of U.S. trade laws, the ITC can issue orders directing U.S. Customs and Border Protection to exclude from the United States imported products that infringe U.S. patents, trademarks, or copyrights, or violate other common law rights. Further information regarding Section 337 actions can be found on the ITC's website.

The ITC's Trade Remedy Assistance Office (TRAO) provides information to small businesses concerning the remedies and benefits available under U.S. trade laws. TRAO also assists eligible small businesses in preparing and filing a Section 337 complaint. You can also reach TRAO by telephone at (800) 343-9822 or (202) 205-2200, or by fax at (202) 205-2139.

Official seal of the U.S. International Trade Commission