The Long Arm of Section 337: International Trade Law as a Global Business Remedy
41 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2015 Last revised: 29 Oct 2015
Date Written: October 21, 2015
This Article analyzes the use of international trade law by American companies as part of a broad-based legal strategy to protect their commercial and investment interests in the increasingly knowledge-based global economy. It focuses on Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, which provides companies with a private right of action to enjoin the importation and sale of goods in the United States that have been produced in violation of their intellectual property rights. Section 337 has recently emerged as a powerful enforcement tool to combat offshore misappropriation of trade secrets by employees, and this Article constitutes the first scholarly analysis of Section 337 offshore trade secret cases brought before the U.S. International Trade Commission. We describe the broad and far-reaching implications of Section 337 as a global business remedy, focusing on the extraterritorial projection of U.S. regulatory power and the growing overlap of multiple regulators over similar business conduct. Drawing from our normative and doctrinal analysis, we propose specific strategies that companies can adopt to maximize the value of Section 337, and outline certain measures that regulators can adopt to address the systemic concerns raised by Section 337.
Keywords: Section 337, international trade law, extraterritorial regulation, International Trade Commission, trade remedies, trade secret misappropriation, employee misconduct
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