• Recent U.S. "Electronic Discovery" Sanctions Order in U.S. Patent Case Creates New Threat to Chinese Companies
  • December 21, 2009 | Author: John R. Alison
  • Law Firm: Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, L.L.P. - Washington Office
  • Traditionally, the U.S. courts (both federal and state) have forced private litigants to exchange, through their lawyers, highly confidential paper documents recording the most intimate details of their business affairs. Such "civil discovery" often included disclosure (under a "protective order") of both technological and financial trade secrets. By the late 1990s, however, the U.S. courts recognized that the most important business records were being created and stored electronically, rather than on paper. To keep U.S. civil litigation current with this rapid change in business recordkeeping, on December 1, 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court adopted a new and controversial set of procedural and evidentiary rules governing the discovery of "electronically stored information" in U.S. civil litigation.