By Eric Schweibenz
On July 6, 2011, the International Trade Commission (the “Commission”) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and a Notice of Proposed Handbook on Filing Procedures.  These notices are directed to proposed amendments of the Commission’s rules of practice and procedure and electronic filing procedures, respectively.

Under the Commission’s proposed amendments, most documents would be required to be filed electronically.  Certain filings would require electronic filing, followed by a paper filing.  The notices provide that the amendments are intended to “increase efficiency in processing documents filed with the Commission, reduce Commission expenditures, and conform agency processes to Federal Government initiatives.”  Under the proposed amendments, parties would continue to electronically file both public and confidential documents using the Commission’s Electronic Document Information System (EDIS).  EDIS, upon submission of a document, would transmit a notice of electronic receipt to the parties.  That notice, however, will not necessarily constitute service of the document.  Specifically, with regard to Section 337 investigations, the presiding ALJ will determine whether electronic service should be permitted and parties will be required to provide written consent in order to be served electronically.

The Commission indicated it would accept written comments regarding these proposed amendments from the public until August 5, 2011.  The Commission encouraged the public to provide commentary on whether the language of the proposed amendments is sufficiently clear and on how the proposed amendments could be improved, providing specific constructive alternatives where appropriate.  Such comments may be submitted to the Commission via its website, by mail, or by hand delivery.  All comments received regarding these amendments will be posted on the Commission's website.