Judge Paul S. Grewal Sides with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) against Samsung

The legal fight between Apple and Samsung is going on with full force. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) won the latest battle when US judge Paul S. Grewal ruled that “Samsung has failed to prevent the destruction of relevant evidence for Apple’s use in this litigation. This is known as the ‘spoliation of evidence,’”. Apple can now tell the jury to presume that the deleted emails were relevant and contained information that would have benefited Apple. Here is the summary and introduction from the judge’s decision:

Apple Inc. (AAPL)

In this patent infringement suit, Plaintiff Apple Inc. (“Apple”) seeks an adverse inference jury instruction against Defendants Samsung Electronics Co., LTD. (“SEC”), Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (“SEA”), and Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC (“STA”) (collectively “Samsung”). Samsung opposes. At issue is whether Samsung took adequate steps to avoid spoliation after it should have reasonably anticipated this lawsuit and elected not to disable the “auto-delete” function of its homegrown “mySingle” email system.

Because the answer to this question is no, the court GRANTS-IN-PART Apple’s motion for an adverse inference jury instruction.

Samsung’s auto-delete email function is no stranger to the federal courts. Over seven years ago, in Mosaid v. Samsung, the District of New Jersey addressed the “rolling basis” by which Samsung email was deleted or otherwise rendered inaccessible. Mosaid also addressed Samsung’s decision not to flip an “off-switch” even after litigation began. After concluding that Samsung’s practices resulted in the destruction of relevant emails, and that “common sense dictates that [Samsung] was more likely to have been threatened by that evidence,” Mosaid affirmed the imposition of both an adverse inference and monetary sanctions.
Rather than building itself an off-switch—and using it—in future litigation such as this one, Samsung appears to have adopted the alternative approach of “mend it don’t end it.” As explained below, however, Samsung’s mend, especially during the critical seven months after a reasonable party in the same circumstances would have reasonably foreseen this suit, fell short of what it needed to do.
You can download the entire decision below: