United States: Round-Up: 2015 Decisional Statistics

In 2015, the ITC maintained an active docket in line with recent investigational trends. Overall, 36 investigations were instituted in 2015, compared to 39 in 2014 and 42 in 2013.1 In contrast, 2011's all-time high of 69 new investigations remains an outlier. All of the investigations instituted in 2015 involved patent infringement allegations, while six investigations also included allegations of other unfair acts.2 While the percentage of ALJ decisions finding a violation of Section 337 decreased somewhat compared to 2014, the Commission's decisions finding violations experienced a strong uptick.

ALJ Decisions3

The ITC Judges issued 15 Initial Determinations on violation ("ID") in 2015, with violations found in a little over 50% of those investigations. This was a decrease from 2014, where violations were found in roughly 70% of IDs. Approximately 75% of patents adjudicated were found to be infringed and nearly 90% were found valid. Almost 75% of the decisions found the domestic industry requirement satisfied.

Commission Decisions4

The biggest statistical difference between 2014 and 2015 was in the Commission's decisions on violation. In 2015, the Commission found violations in approximately 70% of investigations, in sharp contrast with 2014 where the Commission found violations in only 27% of investigations. The principal driver of this year-to-year difference was the significant increase in decisions finding infringement (75% in 2015 vs. 38% in 2014). Validity and domestic industry findings remained largely the same across both years.

ITC Blog Statistics

MoFo@ITC constantly tracks Commission and ALJ decisions, including statistics specific to each Judge, to present updated ITC statistics on violations, patent infringement, patent validity, and domestic industry. Specifically, we track (1) the percentage of investigations in which violations were or were not found, (2) the percentage of patents found infringed or not infringed, (3) the percentage of patents found valid or invalid, and (4) and the percentage of investigations in which domestic industry was found or not found. We also track the number of investigations instituted by calendar year and pending Federal Circuit appeals.

Footnotes

1 Not including ancillary proceedings.

2 The non-patent allegations were as follows: copyright (Inv. 948), false advertising (Inv. 958), trade dress (Inv. 959), trade secret (Inv. 963), and trademark (Invs. 957 and 977).

3 Statistics are based on date of issuance of the public versions of Initial Determinations.

4 Statistics are based on date of issuance of the public versions of Commission opinions. Statistics do not include investigations in which the Commission determined not to review the ALJ's ID.

Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Morrison & Foerster LLP. All rights reserved

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