In a Law360 article, IP litigation partner Matt Rizzolo (Washington, D.C.) and associate Jolene Wang (New York) examine if the International Trade Commission should look to federal and state law and correspondingly apply a statute of limitations for trade secret misappropriation claims in Section 337 investigation, just as it similarly looks to and apply federal law principles for other IP rights such as patents, copyrights, and trademarks.
The authors explain that in federal courts, trade secrets claims typically have a three-year statute of limitations period, meaning a claim is barred if not brought within three years of when the misappropriation is discovered or should have been discovered by the exercise of reasonable diligence. But the statute enforced by the ITC, Section 337 of the Tariff Act, does not contain a separate statute of limitations, and the ITC has never expressly addressed whether a statute of limitations applies to a trade secret misappropriation-based Section 337 claim. Sooner or later, the ITC may be forced to confront this issue.
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