Back in May, Apple filed a motion accusing Samsung of purposefully deleting evidence it was responsible for keeping as part of the discovery process.
Consequently, Apple asked the Court to instruct the jury that Samsung had a duty to preserve relevant evidence but that they failed to meet that duty. Further, Apple asked the Court to instruct the jury that they may infer that the documents Samsung failed to produce would have been advantageous to Apple’s position. Ultimately, the Court agreed to instruct the jury that they may draw a negative inference from Samsung’s actions.
But Samsung’s wily legal team wasn’t going to just sit back and take all the heat themselves. They recently filed a motion of their own claiming that Apple had also destroyed relevant evidence, and in particular argued that they failed to produce a number of emails from late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. More specifically, Samsung argued that Apple did not hand over emails from Jobs which referenced the patent trial from 2010 all the way up to his death in 2011. As a result, both Apple and Samsung will be in the same boat.
The jury instructions with regard to Samsung reads:
Samsung Electronics Company has failed to preserve evidence for Apple’s use in this litigation after Samsung Electronics Company’s duty to preserve arose. Whether this fact is important to you in reaching a verdict in this case is for you to decide.
And with respect to Apple, the jury instructions will read:
Apple has failed to preserve evidence for Samsung’s use in this litigation after Apple’s duty to preserve arose. Whether this fact is important to you in reaching a verdict in this case is for you to decide.
Florian Mueller, who first reported about the jury instructions, adds:
Apple is still in a very good position to win this case. But it would have been even easier for Apple to prevail if Judge Koh had upheld Magistrate Judge Grewal’s decisions. The issue of deleted emails would have helped Apple particularly in connection with the question of willful infringement. Now there will be two extremely soft instructions that cancel each other out.