Fish & Richardson Secures Rare Win in ITC Trade Secrets Case

·3 min read

International Trade Commission Affirms No Violation of Section 337 and Terminates Investigation

BOSTON, October 21, 2021--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fish & Richardson has helped three China-based manufacturers and sellers of commercial catering equipment secure a rare victory in an International Trade Commission investigation brought against them. On October 14, 2021, the ITC voted to affirm that no violation of Section 337 occurred and to terminate the investigation. The ITC held that the complainants had failed to show substantial injury to a domestic industry. Because the complainants’ failure to show substantial injury to a domestic industry was a dispositive issue that terminated the investigation, the ITC took no position on the trade secrets issues under review, and such issues are not subject to any appeal of the ITC’s decision. The ITC otherwise adopted a finding of no tortious interference with contractual relationships.

"We’re grateful for this important and decisive ruling," said Fish Litigation Practice Group Leader Kurt Glitzenstein, who led the case.

Fish represented Guangzhou Rebenet Catering Equipment Manufacturing Co., Ltd., Guangzhou Liangsheng Trading Co., Ltd., and Aceplus International Limited. The investigation against them was initiated by the specialty product conglomerate Illinois Tool Works Inc. and its manufacturing subsidiary based in Guangzhou, China. They alleged misappropriation of trade secrets related to commercial foodservice equipment, as well as tortious interference with contractual relationships. The complainants sought a limited exclusion order at the ITC to bar the importation of Rebenet’s products into the United States.

"This case is an extension of our longtime work defending the intellectual property rights of Chinese companies in the U.S. and other jurisdictions," added Ryan McCarthy, a principal at Fish and the chief representative in the firm’s Shenzhen, China, office. Fish regularly secures patent and trademark protection for Chinese companies in the U.S. and Europe; it also represents them in federal district and appellate courts, at the ITC, and before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. In 2019, Fish opened a representative office in Shenzhen to better support its clients in the region.

The ITC case was In the Matter of Certain Foodservice Equipment and Components Thereof, 337-TA-1166. In addition to Glitzenstein, the Fish team included principals Brian Boyd, Kevin Su, and Linhong Zhang, as well as associates Charles Reese, Liz Ranks, Autumn Wu, and Eric Peng, Ph.D.

About Fish & Richardson
Fish & Richardson, a premier global intellectual property law firm, is sought after and trusted by the world’s most innovative brands and influential technology leaders. Fish offers patent prosecution, litigation, trademark, and copyright counseling and advocacy for a broad range of client needs. Our deep bench of attorneys with first-chair trial experience in every technology makes us the go-to firm for the most technically complex cases. We have an established reputation as a top-tier firm for patent portfolio planning, strategy and prosecution, as well as post-grant proceedings at the PTAB. Fish was established in 1878, and now has more than 400 attorneys and technology specialists in the U.S., Europe, and China. Our success is rooted in our creative and inclusive culture, which values the diversity of people, experiences, and perspectives. For more information, visit or follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Michelle Twite
Fish & Richardson P.C.
(612) 638-5726

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