about "proof of existence"

1 Answers. Asked on Sep 12th, 2014 on Intellectual Property - Connecticut
More details to this question:
I have more than a hundred Gigabytes of digital files on my computer (mostly engineering drawings). If I have to present these in a court years from now, how can I prove that these files existed years ago? My approach is to store these files on a flash drive, seal this drive in a paper "evidence bag" and date it and sign it in presence of a notary. Will this constitute a required "proof of existence" of these pictures on the date I have signed it, when presented to court? I would appreciate a direct "yes or no" answer so that I do not have dig into it to make my own interpretation of law. - If yes, please, show me the references to cases in court or internet when such a proof of existence was accepted. - If, no, please, tell me what specific methods exists in order to accomplish my goal -- undeniable proof of existence.
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Answered on Sep 15th, 2014 at 7:24 AM

No one opens a sealed bag years later in a courtroom to present more than a hundred gigabytes of evidence to the court. You would have your attorney open the envelope in his office and then testify to the fact that he opened the envelope.

There is no such thing as 'undeniable' proof of existence. You present evidence, the other side attempts to deny/discredit the evidence, and then a jury (or judge in a bench trial) decides which side is more credible. They might claim the envelope could be steamed open. They might try calling the notary to the stand. The opposition will always seek some manner of denial.

You could also create a bound book (not 3 ring binder material where pages can be removed/replaced, but a bound book made by Amazon or Shutterfly or whomever) filled with the files and have the book notoraized. There is always an element to electronic files that seems 'easier' to fabricate than paper. In that case, you would have the inside cover notarized.

No case law for you - sorry.

Good luck,


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Intellectual Property
The legal system recognizes the rights of people and companies that invent and create unique works, granting them ownership of those tangible and intangible assets through a number of intellectual property laws. Intellection property, or IP, includes patents, trademarks, copyright, trade dress and trade secrets. Intellectual property attorneys work with businesses and individuals (including inventors, writers, composers, artists and designers) to help protect these intellectual assets. IP lawyers and law firms can assist with taking initial steps to protect assets, while also working with clients to license items and to protect assets that are plagiarized, infringed and/or misappropriated.
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