November 7, 2019

2019 Trends at the International Trade Commission

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) just closed the books on fiscal year 2019. We summarize some notable trends below.

Industry Trends

There were 58 new and ancillary proceedings filed in fiscal year 2019. Interestingly, a noticeable spike in pharmaceuticals and medical device cases continued — life sciences cases have accounted for about 15% of all new investigations the last four straight years, which is substantially higher than historical averages.

Also outpacing traditional averages, another 14% of new investigations were in the automotive / manufacturing / technology space.

Computer and telecommunications cases continued to remain the most popular.

Nature of Suit Trends

Another interesting trend was that non-patent cases (e.g. trademark, trade secret misappropriation, copyright infringement, false advertising, and unfair competition) pending at the Commission exceeded the traditional norms as they made up nearly 10% of the Commission’s docket.

Non-Practicing Entities

Also, the uptick in non-practicing entity (NPE) litigation continued. Between 2014 and 2016 there were only ten NPE investigations, but during the last three years that number more than doubled to 23.

Case Outcomes

Finally, in fiscal year 2019, the ITC reported issuing five general exclusion orders, ten limited exclusion orders, and 16 cease-and-desist orders. This resulted in a complainant win-rate of 62%, which is consistent with historical averages, but a step down from the 88% win-rate in 2017. The ITC continues to have complainant win-rates that outpace district court venues with significant intellectual property.

The complete statistics can be found here.

If you have any questions about these trends or other ITC questions, please contact us.