New arguments in light of a 2011 decision from the International Trade Commission raise questions about the extraterritorial application of US law, as Mark Wine explains.
US courts have long abided by the policy that “foreign conduct is generally the domain of foreign law”. In fact, in some areas of the law, the Supreme Court has even created strong legal presumptions against extraterritorial enforcement.
However, TianRui Group Co Ltd v US Int’l Trade Comm’n (TianRui) is emerging as an exception to this rule for matters involving trade secret misappropriation. TianRui’s broad holding has extended the extraterritorial reach of the International Trade Commission (ITC), using the “unfair competition” language in Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930. In TianRui, the Federal Circuit affirmed the ITC’s jurisdiction over matters involving trade secret misappropriation, even in cases where the misappropriation occurs entirely overseas.
“IT BECOMES IMPORTANT FOR ENTITIES ENGAGED IN INTERNATIONAL TRADE WITH US-BASED COMPETITION TO UNDERSTAND THE POTENTIAL REACH OF THE DECISION’S REASONING REGARDING OTHER FORMS OF EXTRATERRITORIAL ENFORCEMENT.”
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TianRui v ITC, US law, unfair competition, trade secrets