Pedram Sameni
Apr 11, 2024

Patexia Insight 204: Top Lateral Moves of ITC Attorneys in 2023

Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 empowers the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to investigate and address unfair acts in the importation of goods into the United States, particularly those infringing on intellectual property rights or engaging in unfair trade practices. This provision serves as a vital mechanism in shielding U.S. industries from unfair competition, offering companies recourse against injurious trade practices like patent infringement, trademark violations, and trade secret misappropriation.

Patexia's Section 337 ITC Intelligence report holds significant importance in understanding the landscape of Section 337 investigations. It dives into filing trends, providing various statistics on outcomes, investigation length, most popular technologies litigated, and unfair acts, among others. Moreover, the report evaluates and ranks all stakeholders, including companies, law firms, and attorneys, based on their activity and performance levels. This comprehensive analysis equips stakeholders with valuable insights, allowing them to make informed decisions and strategically position themselves for success. In today’s insight, we will cover some of the top lateral moves occurring among the most active attorneys, as spotlighted in this report. 

While the volume of patent cases may not rival that of district courts, the ITC remains a key battleground where companies defend their U.S. market share. As illustrated in the chart above, during the period of our study, from January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2023, a total of 396 investigations were initiated, with 87.37% of them focusing on patent infringement, involving a total of 973 unique patents. The number of ITC investigations has demonstrated year-over-year (YoY) fluctuations, peaking at 79 investigations in 2022 and dropping to 50 investigations in 2023. The upward trajectory began in 2019, with filing activity increasing by 3.33% compared to 2018. Successive years saw further increases of 14.52% in 2020, 4.23% in 2021, and 6.76% in 2022. However, 2023 witnessed a decline, deviating from the established trend. It's worth noting that a similar downturn was observed in patent litigation in district courts and PTAB proceedings, as highlighted in Patexia 197 and detailed in our Patent Litigation Intelligence 2024 report.

The full Section 337 ITC Intelligence report, apart from presenting and analyzing the statistical data, utilizes the information gathered from investigations to evaluate the activity and performance of entities involved in Section 337 cases assessing the contributions and investigation outcomes. Based on this evaluation, the report ranks all entities, providing valuable insights into their relative standing within the Section 337 landscape. Additionally, all of our reports come equipped with a comprehensive list of lateral moves occurring within the period since the previous report was published one year ago. By comparing law firm data in both reports and analyzing the lateral moves, we gain a deeper understanding of the shifting dynamics and strategic decisions within the legal industry. This provides stakeholders with actionable insights into the evolving landscape of Section 337 investigations and the broader legal marketplace.

In 2023, the legal landscape witnessed significant lateral moves among top-tier attorneys, shaping the dynamics of the industry. We focused on the top 1,000 most active ITC attorneys to compile the list of the most important lateral moves of the year. These lateral moves signify strategic decisions made by attorneys and law firms, often driven by factors such as expanding practice areas, pursuing new opportunities, or responding to market demands. We identified a total of 48 lateral moves within the ITC Section 337 practice. The following table provides a list of the top ten attorneys changing firms, their current firm, previous firm, and the total number of ITC investigations (violations) that they were involved in. 


ITC Attorney Destination Firm Old Law Firm Overall Activity Rank All ITC Cases
Jordan L. Coyle White & Case Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe 4 29
James B. Coughlan* Holland & Knight* Perkins Coie 12 24
Juan J. Garcia Fabricant LLP AMS Trade LLP 15 18
Gary Rinkerman Pierson Ferdinand, LLP FisherBroyles 41 12
John McGrath Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks Alston & Bird 115 9
Betty H. Chen Desmarais LLP Fish & Richardson 115 9
Amanda M. Simpson ArentFox Schiff Winston & Strawn 119 11
Daniel E. Valencia DLA Piper Covington & Burling LLP 139 13
Sean T. Gloth II Latham & Watkins

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan

158 11
Andrew R. Kopsidas Blank Rome LLP Hughes Hubbard & Reed 158 11

* Attorney James B. Coughlan has since moved to the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) as General Counsel and Senior Vice President after the publication of our report.


Utilizing the lateral move data, we also conducted an analysis to calculate the net gain for each law firm actively engaged in Section 337 investigations. This is determined by subtracting the number of departing attorneys from the number of new arrivals. Here are a couple of observations on the top three law firms experiencing growth: 

  • White & Case achieved significant growth by adding five attorneys who were also ranked among the top 1,000 most active in our Section 337 ITC report. Among the additions was the notable inclusion of Jordan L. Coyle. The firm's Head of Intellectual Property Practice, Yar Chaikovsky, emphasizes the growing importance of Section 337 investigations for technology companies and praises Coyle's expertise in this area.
  • Bunsow De Mory also expanded their Section 337 ITC practice, adding three patent litigation attorneys from Kramer Day Alberti Lim Tonkovich. The addition of these experienced patent litigation attorneys further strengthens Bunsow De Mory's position as a leading player in the field of intellectual property law.
  • Holland & Knight was another firm that expanded their practice with two attorneys who bring extensive experience in Section 337 ITC litigation. This demonstrates the firm's commitment to strengthening its capabilities in this field, recognizing the growing importance of Section 337 investigations.

In the upcoming weeks, we will delve deeper into the insights provided by this report by highlighting the top companies, law firms, and attorneys engaged in Section 337 ITC litigation. Stay tuned for more updates!