Q&A with Michael McKeon: Keeping Up With The ITC


Fish trial and litigation attorney Michael McKeon was interviewed by Metropolitan Corporate Counsel in the October 2014, article "Keeping Up With The ITC." In the interview, McKeon discusses his active patent litigation practice before the International Trade Commission (ITC) and emerging trends at this popular forum that companies need to know about.

MCC: You've been litigating at the ITC since the early-90s and have handled over 30 cases, which is a staggering number. How has the forum changed over the years, and do you think its popularity will continue to grow?

McKeon: When I started litigating cases in the ITC there were under 10 complaints filed each year with just two judges handling them. In 2011, filings at the ITC peaked with a record 69 complaints filed with five judges handling them. The forum also used to be uniquely American - in the early years, you would only find U.S. companies filing complaints there - but that has all changed. Some years I've seen over 30 percent of the complaints filed by foreign-based companies, and it is not uncommon to see two foreign companies litigating against one another in the ITC.

The forum has become so popular because it's fast and furious, and you can get powerful relief in about 18 months, which is nearly impossible in district court. The world's most contentious patent disputes usually have components that are litigated in the ITC, and I expect this trend to continue well into the future.”