Apple accuses Samsung of deleting "vast quantities" of evidence

Apple has accused Samsung of destroying evidence in the ongoing patent battle between the firms, demanding that the court push the jury to assume the Korean company feared it would indict itself. Samsung's supposedly slapdash email storage system has been conveniently blamed for the deletion of "vast quantities of relevant evidence in blatant disregard of its duty to preserve all such evidence" Apple told the Northern District of California in a motion filed on May 1.

"Samsung's ad hoc, unmonitored email "preservation" methods have resulted in the irretrievable loss of unknown volumes of relevant emails. For example, Judge Grewal recently compelled the deposition of Won Pyo Hong, the head of Samsung's Product Strategy Team, in part due to an email in which Dr.Hong "directly orders side-by-side comparisons of Apple and Samsung products for design presentations."

Apple and the Court cannot possibly know how many more emails Dr. Hong sent or received that would have supported Apple's claims that Samsung copied Apple products had they not been deleted. The same is true for the many other Samsung witnesses who produced only a handful of emails, or none at all" Apple filing

This isn't the first time Samsung has been accused of being cavalier with potential evidence. Apple cites its rival's behavior during antitrust investigations by Korea's Fair Trade Commission (KFTC), where it was found to have deleted evidence while accused of price-fixing. Meanwhile a strict two-week deletion policy for email at Samsung also clashed with a previous lawsuit.

If the court agrees with Apple's motion, it could prove a significant blow for Samsung's defense. The so-called "spoilation of evidence" conclusion that Apple's lawyers are calling for would see Samsung found guilty of acting in bad faith to meet its legal duty and preserve relevant evidence, and the jury led to infer  that any of the documents Samsung failed to produce in evidence would have been advantageous to Apple's argument.

Thus, if the jury finally decides Samsung has infringed on Apple's patents, that cover-up would mean the infringement could be considered "intentional, willful, without regard to Apple's rights."

Samsung is expected to file a reply brief by tomorrow, May 15, with a hearing on June 7, though the company has requested an extension to May 29 and July 10 respectively. It has dismissed the accusations and says it can convince the court that Apple's arguments are false.

[via Network World]