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Reflections on Recent Developments of Statutory Public Interests in Patent-based Section 337 Proceedings

Title: Reflections on Recent Developments of Statutory Public Interests in Patent-based Section 337 Proceedings

Authors: Yu, Yang

Abstract: After the recent amendments in 2011 and 2013
of the Rules of Practice and Procedure by the International Trade Commission
(ITC), at least from the procedural perspective, complainants presently have been
burdened with an increased cost of collecting adequate information concerning
statutory public interests even before putting forward the complaint, in order
to justify the desired remedy by virtue of indicating no harm to statutory
public interest. This reflects the ITC’s aspiration to make the final
determination more precise and equitably justified on the analysis of public
interest issues, so as to ultimately protect relevant domestic industries in
terms of curbing intellectual property infringements in imports simultaneously
without unduly sacrificing certain statutory public interest. Although the
actual effect of the amendments in the long run still remains to be seen, the
amendments possibly will generate some desirable results: first, from the
perspective of law and economics, they are conducive to decrease the possible
related adverse impacts in terms of negative externalities and increase
economic efficiency; second, the amendments are also favourable to curb the
existing ‘patent troll’ suits, although they are currently still not severe, by
means of adequate considerations concerning statutory public interests, so as
to optimally achieve the ultimate legislative goal of Section 337 and third, it
is evident that an interest-balanced approach, in terms of more in-depth
analysis of public interest, is better than the traditional all-or-nothing
approach to some extent. Accordingly, a more equitable adjudication in terms of
a better interests balance can be attained by utilizing the
interest-balanced approach.

Page(s): 123-132