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Samsung Sanctioned for Destroying Evidence Ahead of Apple Trial
It seems Samsung didn’t preserve e-mail and meeting notes ahead of the litigation like it was supposed to

Dear, dear, dear, dear.

Five days before the great Apple patent trial starts Monday - a trial Apple has got to win - Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal sanctioned Apple's opponent Samsung for destroying evidence.

It seems Samsung didn't preserve e-mail and meeting notes ahead of the litigation like it was supposed to.

The rules say when you're "reasonably" sure you're gonna get sued you have to keep all the relevant evidence for discovery. Samsung's been down this road before so it knows the rules. And it was probably pretty sure what would happen after Steve Jobs and Tim Cook appeared on its doorstep in August of 2010 complaining about infringement.

Anyway, Judge Grewal said Samsung is guilty of "spoliation of evidence" and that the jury will be told - that is, given "adverse inference instructions" - that it can find in Apple's favor when any key evidence of a factual issue turns up missing.

FOSS Patents said he could have said the jury has to find for Apple but he didn't. His instructions said, "Whether this finding is important to you in reaching a verdict in this case is for you to decide. You may choose to find it determinative, somewhat determinative, or not at all determinative in reaching your verdict."

FOSS Patents also thinks that the missing evidence may play to willfulness, which, if found, could cost Samsung treble damages. There are, for instance, some missing notes of a top-level meeting discussing "alternatives to the Galaxy Tab 10.1 to make it more competitive with the newly release thinner iPad 2." Apple claims the Galaxy Tab is a dead ringer for its device.

About Maureen O'Gara
Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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