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.[1]  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.[2]  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.

ALJ Decisions[3]

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.

Commission Decisions[4]

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.