UIC Review of Intellectual Property Law


Patricia Larios


The widespread offshoring of manufacturing operations has created dramatic efficiencies and meaningful cost savings for many U.S. businesses. But as an unintended consequence, the move to foreign manufacturing also has created challenges to the U.S. patent system and its ability to protect American businesses from infringing competition. U.S. District Courts are frequently an inadequate forum for litigating patent infringement suits involving an accused device manufactured abroad because of the difficulties associated with obtaining jurisdiction and proving infringement. Patent holders faced with such a situation, however, are not left without recourse. This article explores the different enforcement mechanisms available in the United States International Trade Commission (“ITC” or “Commission”) and addresses the institution’s value, relevance, and role in the modern United States patent law system. Particularly in the context of modern electronics markets and supply chains, the ITC offers important and significant tools for protecting U.S. intellectual property rights and business investments.