Apple accuses Samsung of taking a slash-and-burn approach to evidence preservation
FORTUNE — Samsung’s failure to produce evidence in a timely manner is emerging as a pivotal issue in the California federal court where Apple AAPL has sued the Korean smartphone manufacturer for allegedly infringing Apple’s iPhone patents.
Last week, FOSS Patents‘ Florian Mueller reported that the judge in the case had ordered harsh “preclusive sanctions” against Samsung for what Mueller described as “a particularly inexcusable violation” of a court order to deliver source code.
As Mueller noted, “This is not the first time that Samsung is found guilty of non-compliance with a discovery order.”
Now NetworkWorld‘s Yoni Heisler has taken a deeper look at Samsung’s record of non-compliance. As he reported Friday:
In its motion, Apple accused Samsung of destroying “vast quantities of relevant evidence in blatant disregard of its duty to preserve all such evidence,” something it charges Samsung did in a similar case before the International Trade Commission.
It also cited other instances of wholesale document destruction:
- In a lawsuit involving Samsung and Mosaid Tecnologies it was discovered that Samsung had an ongoing policy of automatically deleting emails from custodian computers every two weeks, even when they were required to keep e-mail evidence relevant to an ongoing legal dispute.
- While being investigated by Korea’s Fair Trade Commission (KFTC), Samsung allegedly obstructed justice by purposefully destroying a large amount of data during the course of a price fixing investigation.
- According to a recent KFTC press release, the commission found that high level Samsung executives instructed company security personnel to physically block KFTC officials from entering the facility while “Samsung employees from the department subject to the investigation destroyed relevant data and replaced the computers of those employees who were subject to investigation.”
Apple has asked the judge to instruct the jury:
The case is scheduled to go to trial on July 30.