Empirical Study on Determinations of United States International Trade Commission and Strategies for Litigation at United States International Trade Commission
|關鍵字:||專利訴訟;實證;美國國際貿易委員會;patent litigation;empirical study;international trade commission|
|摘要:||美國的專利權人發現專利被侵權時，可以經由兩個管道獲得救濟，向聯邦地方法院或是美國國際貿易委員會(U.S. International Trade Commission，簡稱USITC或ITC)提出訴訟。在聯邦地方法院的專利訴訟中，絕大多數係由陪審團進行判決。然而，由於專利訴訟牽涉複雜技術的問題，因此在聯邦地方法院的專利訴訟中，陪審團判決的不確定性，是專利權人或可能侵權行為人都必須要承擔的風險。ITC的訴訟程序，係由該會的行政法官(Administrative Law Judge)進行調查及判決。一般認為，非經陪審團而由專業法官進行裁判的美國國際貿易委員會訴訟，其判決結果有較高的可預見性。
There are two forums in United States, U.S. district court and U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC or ITC), for the patentee to seek the remedies of patent infringement, if the patentee believes anyone infringes her or his patent. In U.S. district court, the decision is made mostly by jury. However, for the patent infringement litigation, complex technical issues are involved, and thus either the patentee or the infringer need to take the risk of the unpredictability of the jury decision into consideration. In ITC, an administrative law judge (ALJ) is assigned to investigate the infringement and make a determination. Under general recognition, the determination in ITC which is made by a professional judge should have higher predictability than the decision made by jury. This study is started from this recognition, and is expected to verify this recognition by an empirical study of the ITC determinations. The empirical study covers the ITC determinations after the amendment of Section 337, i.e., from 1995, which include 270 investigations. The statistic of the 270 investigations demonstrates that the determinations of USITC are favorable to the patentees in percentage. It should be noted that one of the reasons why the patentee chooses the USITC to obtain the remedies is the powerful enforcement tool, the exclusion order enforced by the U.S. customs and board protection. Even if the determination of the USITC is wrongly favorable to the patentee, the defendants will be substantially damaged before the appeal court reverses the determination. Through reviewing the empirical study of the ITC determinations, this article wants to provide a premonition that an ITC litigation may result in a great loss for defendants. Furthermore, the appeal decisions for the ITC determinations will be reviewed so as to understand if the interpretation of the matter of law in the ITC coincides with that in Federal Circuit. In fact, during the appeal proceedings of patent infringement litigations in Federal Circuit, the survival rate of the ITC determinations is not higher than that of the federal district court. United States is still one of the biggest single market for a lot of goods, and with the trend of global vertical disintegration, almost all of the products are manufactured through an international cooperation. Any competition in the U.S. market is possibly used to bring an ITC litigation so as to attack the competitor. Domestic industries in Taiwan can not avoid this type of litigation. The empirical study is also expected to further provide help on analysis or recognition of the ITC litigation.