Locke Lord represents U.S. and foreign companies on regulations governing the import and export of goods, software and technology to and from the U.S.
With the globalization of the supply chain, clients routinely enter into international supply agreements to import components and license software and technology, use those components to develop new products and services, and then sell in the global marketplace through direct sales, agency, sales representative, distributor, reseller, sublicense and other cross-border agreements. Working in the global arena, however, adds additional layers of governmental (both foreign and domestic) regulations to the transactions. For example, the U.S. Customs Regulations apply to all goods imported into this country. A number of different government departments may also get involved and require licenses when certain types of goods, materials, software, or technology are exported or, in some cases, simply disclosed to foreign persons.
In the import arena, we routinely counsel clients on issues involving assessment of duties, classification and valuation of goods, and the application of antidumping and countervailing duties. We counsel on duty drawback issues and the response to U.S. Customs Service notices regarding possible penalties, seizures or forfeitures.
Our attorneys have significant experience in determining the applicability of prohibitions, license requirements and exemptions in connection with the export of U.S. goods, software and technology. This includes experience with both Munitions List items covered by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations and dual-use/commercial items under the Export Administration Regulations. We assist clients on compliance with U.S. sanctions and economic embargoes imposed by the Foreign Assets Control Regulations. We also advise on technology transfer restrictions on international licenses of technology from the U.S. to both emerging and developed countries.
Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in proceedings before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) with respect to intellectual property rights issues that arise under various international trade laws. The ITC provides an alternative forum for bringing intellectual property actions. Section 337 investigations conducted by the ITC most often involve claims regarding intellectual property rights, including allegations of patent infringement and trademark infringement by imported goods. Both utility and design patents, as well as registered and common law trademarks, may be asserted in these investigations. Other forms of unfair competition involving imported products, such as infringement of registered copyrights, mask works or boat hull designs, misappropriation of trade secrets or trade dress, passing off, and false advertising, may also be asserted, as well as antitrust claims relating to imported goods. The primary remedy available in Section 337 investigations is an exclusion order that directs Customs to stop infringing imports from entering the U.S.
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