From The Modern Archivist's Adam Sand:
In Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. V. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., 2010 WL 2640492 (D. Del. June 21, 2010), a patent dispute between two pharmaceutical companies, the court ordered that the relevant time period for all discovery requests be expanded to include the past 18 years. Because the plaintiff had conceived of the patent and reduced it to practice 18 years ago, the documents from the entire time period may contain relevant data.
This is not a new trend. Companies are being forced to hold onto their ESI for longer and longer periods of time due to the increasing liability of lawsuits. In specific, companies with a critical mass of intellectual property (especially in the case of long product development cycles such as in Pharma), can be hamstrung to hold onto their information for years.
Although it is currently unclear as to an industry standard or mandate, as Mr. Sand continues, "it is possible that more organizations will be holding on to their ESI for ten years or more." This brings to the fore two relevant issues:
1. How are companies going to realistically enforce these policies?
2. How can companies manage the vast amount of data these retention policies force them to hold?
The solution for the execution of the policy is to simplify, and interestingly enough the solution for the storage will follow. In order to enforce such a policy, ESI must be centrally managed. There is no way to ensure proper life cycle management if there are either multiple copies or multiple policies or some combination of both. One copy, one policy will ensure proper retention compliance.
Storage, then, will see dramatic reduction if there is only one copy! Check out www.zlti.com for more.
p.s. We are launching a new site this week, so be sure to keep checking it!