On June 23, 2016, the International Trade Commission (ITC) determined that a Section 337 violation has occurred in Certain Footwear Products (Inv. No. 337-TA-936). As a result, it issued a general exclusion order prohibiting the unlicensed entry of footwear products that infringe two marks directed to the outsole layout of Converse Inc.’s (“Converse”) famous Chuck Taylor shoe (U.S. Trademark Registration Nos. 3,258,103 (the ‘103 trademark) and 1,588,960 (the ‘960 trademark)). The ITC determined that the public interest factors do not preclude issuance of the general exclusion order. The ITC also determined that a bond of 100 percent of the entered value (per pair) of the covered products is required to permit temporary importation during the presidential review period.
In granting a summary determination motion, ALJ Lord found that the patent owner’s (Owner) patents were directed to ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. This was the first successful challenge to patentability under Section 101 at the International Trade Commission (ITC) since the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International.