21 November 2011
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently held that the International Trade Commission (ITC) may prohibit the importation of products made by processes that are protected under U.S. trade secrets law where the act of misappropriation occurs outside the United States. The case involved an ITC order finding a violation of § 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 and excluding the import of railway wheels based on the misappropriation of trade secrets in China. The Federal Circuit also held that federal common law (and not state laws) of trade secret misappropriation applies in § 337 investigations. Further, there is no requirement that the company alleging trade secret misappropriation prove that the trade secret at issue is being practiced in the United States.