Discovery of computer source code–either through production, inspection, or deposition–is one of the more contentious aspects of patent litigation. Indeed, “few tasks excite a defendant less . . . . Engineers and management howl at the notion of providing strangers, and especially a fierce competitor, access to the crown jewels. Counsel struggle to understand even exactly what code exists and exactly how it can be made available for reasonable inspection. All sorts of questions are immediately posed. . . . Put simply, source code production is disruptive, expensive, and fraught with monumental opportunities to screw up.” Apple Inc. v. Samsung Elecs. Co., No. 11-1846, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62971, *10-11 (N.D. Cal. May 4, 2012) (ECF No. 898).
In succession to remarks he made this past Fall about the soaring costs of electronic discovery in IP cases and unveiling the Model Order Regarding E-Discovery in Patent Cases, Federal Circuit Chief Judge Randall Rader recently told the ABA Section of IP Law that both the bar and the bench together, must continue to rein in the high costs of e-discovery. Chief Judge Rader suggested that attorneys’ need to limit their e-discovery requests and courts should consider implementing rules to facilitate efficient and cost effective discovery, as many have begun to do.
Cybercrime has increased tremendously in the digital economy. “According to the American Society for Industrial Security, American businesses [are] losing $250 billion a year from intellectual property theft since the mid-1990’s.” There is a clear and growing threat of Chinese industrial espionage targeted at American companies. In a recent case, a Michigan couple was accused of stealing $40 million worth of trade secrets from General Motors and selling them to a Chinese car maker. Aside from hackers, the threat also exists within organizations from insiders. A recent study commissioned by Cisco found that “[i]n the hands of uninformed, careless, or disgruntled employees, every device that accesses the network or stores data is a potential risk to intellectual property or sensitive customer data.”
Expert Panel Offers Advice On Executing Effective Legal Holds Following Pension Committee, Rimkus and Victor Stanley II At Gibbons Fourth Annual E-Discovery Conference
The failure to properly implement, monitor and refine legal holds can have devastating results, transforming manageable legal issues into high-stakes nightmares. To offer guidance on avoiding this, on Thursday, October 28, 2010, Gibbons P.C. held its Fourth Annual E-Discovery Conference, where it assembled a panel of experts for a roundtable discussion on legal hold best practices after the issuance this year of three must-read decisions on this topic: Pension Committee, Rimkus and Victor Stanley II.
Relevance. Scienter. Prejudice. These three themes permeated a roundtable discussion entitled “Legal Hold Best Practices after Victor Stanley II, Pension Committee and Rimkus” during Gibbons Fourth Annual E-Discovery Conference on October 28, 2010, at Gibbons headquarters in Newark, New Jersey. A distinguished panel discussed legal hold best practices and lessons learned from recent decisions, including proactive measures and creative strategies for companies of all sizes to meet their e-discovery obligations. E-discovery preservation obligations have been a critical issue in employment litigation since Judge Scheindlin’s groundbreaking opinion in Zubulake v. UBS Warburg (in which the defendant/employer was sanctioned for failing to preserve documents in a sex discrimination case brought under Title VII).