The International Trade Commission (ITC) was created under the 1930 Tariff Act to prevent U.S. merchandise knockoffs from entering the country in violation of patent rights. U.S. companies with foreign manufacturing operations can fall into the commission’s jurisdiction.
Part of the ITC’s draw for clients is its speed in finding resolutions relative to the slow pace of lawsuits in federal courts. The agency decides cases in 12 to 15 months. Unlike federal courts, the ITC can issue an exclusion order banning infringing products from the U.S. markets. However, the ITC does not have authority to grant money damages for patent infringement.