Regarding the Aggregation of Domestic Industry Costs for Different Patents, the CAFC Maintains the ITC Decision.

May 13, 2024
CAFC ITC Decision

In a recent ruling, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affirmed the decision of the International Trade Commission (ITC) regarding the aggregation of domestic industry costs for disparate patents. This decision marks a significant development in intellectual property (IP) law and has important implications for patent holders and litigants.


Background: The case involved a dispute over the aggregation of domestic industry costs for patents covering disparate technologies. The patent holder argued that the ITC erred in aggregating costs across multiple patents to establish a domestic industry under Section 337 of the Tariff Act. The ITC’s decision was based on its determination that the patents were related and collectively contributed to a single domestic industry.


CAFC’s Analysis: In its ruling, the CAFC conducted a detailed analysis of the relevant legal principles and factual evidence presented in the case. The court affirmed the ITC’s decision, concluding that the aggregation of domestic industry costs for disparate patents was consistent with established legal precedent and supported by substantial evidence.


The CAFC emphasized the broad discretion afforded to the ITC in determining whether a domestic industry exists under Section 337. The court noted that the ITC’s decision was entitled to deference and should not be overturned unless it was “unsupported by substantial evidence on the record, or otherwise not in accordance with law.


Implications for Patent Holders: The CAFC’s decision has important implications for patent holders seeking relief under Section 337 of the Tariff Act. The ruling clarifies that the ITC may aggregate domestic industry costs across multiple patents, even if those patents cover disparate technologies. This provides patent holders with greater flexibility in establishing a domestic industry and pursuing remedies for patent infringement before the ITC.


Moreover, the decision underscores the importance of presenting strong factual evidence to support claims of a domestic industry. Patent holders must demonstrate a nexus between their patented technologies and the domestic industry activities relied upon to satisfy the statutory requirements under Section 337.

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