The Wall Street Journal's Law Blog yesterday morning carried a posting about the International Trade Commission's "proposing new rules that would, ideally, make patent-infringement disputes more affordable by placing limitations on electronic discovery."
The proposed rules, which were published in today's Federal Register, closely tracks the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, according to the post. "As it is," it says, "if, say, Apple makes a request of Samsung for information that it believes is relevant to an infringement claim, Samsung has to dig through all its emails and documents, no matter how much it costs or how long it takes, for that information. Under the proposed rules, Samsung wouldn’t have to provide discovery from sources that it identified as 'not reasonably accessible because of undue burden or cost.' Apple, however, could then file a motion to compel the production of the electronic documents in question, and Samsung would have to show that the information isn't reasonably accessible. An administrative judge would ultimately decide the issue."
The Federal Register posts that comments on the proposed rules have to be received before 5:15 p.m. on December 4, 2012.