Digital Models: ITC Affirms Jurisdiction Over Electronic Transmissions

On April 3, 2014, the ITC released an opinion in Certain Digital Models, Inv. No. 337-TA-833, affirming the Commission’s jurisdiction over electronic transmissions as imported articles. Complainant Align Technologies, manufacturer of the Invisalign dental repositioning appliances, accused competitor ClearCorrect of violating Section 337 by electronically importing into the U.S. digital models of teeth that infringed certain Align patents.  The Commission ruled that electronic files transmitted over the Internet qualify as “articles” under Section 337, and issued cease and desist orders directing ClearCorrect to discontinue its digital importation of the infringing files.  With the Internet continually expanding as a channel for delivering software, music, movies, and other digital content, the ITC may see more investigations targeting digital imports.

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