On February 6, 2006, the International Trade Commission issued a final determination in favor of our client Dürr AG, finding no violation of Section 337 in Dürr's importation of electric paint robots. This marks Alston & Bird's fourth Section 337 victory in the past two years in defending such diverse products as point of sale terminals, insect traps and automotive grilles from claims of patent infringement. Alston & Bird ranked as the second most frequently used respondents' law firm in 2005 in a survey by IP Law & Business.
Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 is a potent weapon for the protecting U.S. industry against the importation and sale of foreign products that infringe U.S. intellectual property rights (generally patents or trademarks). Section 337 investigations occur before an administrative law judge at the ITC and proceed at a much quicker pace than district court patent litigation. They also offer markedly different remedies -- including exclusion of infringing products from the United States. Practice before the ITC involves a special skill set in addition to patent law expertise. Paul Brinkman, a partner in our Washington office, combines his ITC skills with our extensive patent litigation practice to deliver superior results to our clients facing these challenging proceedings.