Section 337 of the United States Tariff Act of 1930 ("Section 337") protects intellectual property rights from international pirating and counterfeiting. It provides a mechanism for excluding infringing imports from the United States marketplace. Before the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 (the "Omnibus Trade Act"), some argued that Section 337 should be amended to provide for further protection. Others maintained that Section 337 conflicts with United States obligations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade ("GATT") or that further substantive amendments of Section 337 would conflict with GATT. A GATT Panel in Imports of Certain Automotive Spring Assemblies found that Section 337 proceedings did not conflict with GATT because Section 337 proceedings were an Article XX(d) exception to Article III of GATT. The court noted, however, that its holding was very narrow and that it left open the possibility of future examinations of Section 337. Furthermore, even after the amendments to Section 337 in the Omnibus Trade Act, whether Section 337 conflicts with Article III is still an open question.
9 Nw. J. Int'l L. & Bus. 382 (1988).