In 2015, the ITC maintained an active docket in line with recent investigational trends. Overall, 36 investigations were instituted in 2015, compared to 39 in 2014 and 42 in 2013. In contrast, 2011’s all-time high of 69 new investigations remains an outlier. All of the investigations instituted in 2015 involved patent infringement allegations, while six investigations also included allegations of other unfair acts. While the percentage of ALJ decisions finding a violation of Section 337 decreased somewhat compared to 2014, the Commission’s decisions finding violations experienced a strong uptick.
The ITC Judges issued 15 Initial Determinations on violation (“ID”) in 2015, with violations found in a little over 50% of those investigations. This was a decrease from 2014, where violations were found in roughly 70% of IDs. Approximately 75% of patents adjudicated were found to be infringed and nearly 90% were found valid. Almost 75% of the decisions found the domestic industry requirement satisfied.
The biggest statistical difference between 2014 and 2015 was in the Commission’s decisions on violation. In 2015, the Commission found violations in approximately 70% of investigations, in sharp contrast with 2014 where the Commission found violations in only 27% of investigations. The principal driver of this year-to-year difference was the significant increase in decisions finding infringement (75% in 2015 vs. 38% in 2014). Validity and domestic industry findings remained largely the same across both years.