ITC and eDiscovery: Are you prepared?

Fasten-your-seat-belts.-Its-going-to-be-a-bumpy-nightThere is the Rocket Docket and then there is International Trade Commission (ITC) cases.  When it comes to discovery and  the ITC you better fasten your seatbelts.  It’s going to be a bumpy night.  If you thought that regular eDiscovery proceedings are impossible to navigate? You haven’t really seen anything until you’ve experienced such litigation that is involved the ITC, which deals heavily in intellectual property, antidumping and other subjects.

A good example for everyday management

Litigation involving the ITC has long been a more difficult process than those in which the regulator does not participate, especially because of the need for quick turnarounds on evidence and efficient completion of all projects associated with the trial. Failure to be extremely prepared for the challenges of such proceedings will never end up good.

You can expect dramatically high legal costs, a lower chance of favorable outcomes and many more frustrations down the line when your firm has not yet implemented the proper preparations.

Recently, the ITC and Federal Trade Commission have passed new rules related to eDiscovery processes in an effort to even further quicken the turnaround on processing and evidence disclosure. It is important to note that both federal entities incorporated rules that will hopefully shed light on privilege procedures and weaken the sting of financial and operational stress in the discovery process.

So, even if you implemented your preparations for the prospect of undergoing litigation proceedings that involve eDiscovery and federal regulators a year ago, they are probably already irrelevant in light of these new laws.

Much like the general federal judicial opinions on eDiscovery, the FTC’s and ITC’s are still very much works in progress. As a result, decision-makers need to create agile policies and long-term strategies to ensure a smooth litigation proceeding regardless of opponent or complaint.

Case in point

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930 gave the ITC the power to block companies’ products from being sold in the United States, and that this ability has been used constantly by competing businesses in recent years. For example, the source cited the patent wars taking place among smartphone manufacturers, in which the ITC has already blocked myriad products.

While this regulation is deemed necessary in the modern, information-sharing market, it can be and has been taken advantage of by several entities. According to the news provider, businesses can essentially hold a competitor ransom for a big settlement by going through these channels.

In short, put together a team that has a proven track record and are used to the constant demands and deadlines associated with ITC cases.

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