John Paczkowski

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Apple: Litigation Misconduct Is Part of Samsung’s Legal Strategy

The Joy of Tech

Apple has asked the federal court judge presiding over its patent infringement case against Samsung to rule in its favor, after the South Korean company’s legal team publicly released evidence that had been excluded from trial. That evidence was pulled together in support of Samsung’s argument that Apple derived the original design of the iPhone from Sony — an argument excluded from the case because Samsung didn’t disclose it until after the discovery phase of the trial concluded.

In a filing to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California late Wednesday evening, Apple said the court should sanction Samsung by ruling that the patents at issue in the case are valid and infringed by Samsung. And if the court declines to do so, it should at the very least instruct the jury that Samsung has engaged in “serious misconduct,” and bar the company from any further mention of its “Sony style” argument in court.

Apple, in its motion for sanctions, argues that Samsung’s broadcast of excluded evidence is not only a clear attempt to prejudice the jury, but part of an emerging pattern of misconduct.

“Samsung already has been sanctioned four times in this case for discovery abuses (see image at right). Most recently, Samsung was sanctioned for destroying evidence,” Apple’s legal team wrote. “Litigation misconduct is apparently a part of Samsung’s litigation strategy — and limited sanctions have not deterred Samsung from such misconduct. Now, with so much at stake, Samsung has taken the calculated risk that any sanctions arising from its attempt to influence the jury with its excluded arguments are a price it is willing to pay.”

From Apple’s perspective, Samsung’s release of excluded evidence at a time when the jury will be away from Court for two days, was not only a clear attempt to prejudice the jury but a gambit for a mistrial. But Apple has no plans to request a mistrial. To do so, the company argues, would be to reward Samsung’s misconduct.

“The proper remedy for Samsung’s misconduct is judgment that Apple’s asserted phone design patents are valid and infringed,” Apple’s attorneys conclude. “Through its extraordinary actions yesterday, Samsung sought to sway the jury on the design patent issues, and the proper remedy is to enter judgment against Samsung on those same patents. It would be, to be sure, a significant sanction. But serious misconduct can only be cured through a serious sanction—and here, Samsung’s continuing and escalating misconduct merits a severe penalty that will establish that Samsung is not above the law.”

Reached for comment, Samsung said it plans to dispute Apple’s allegations. “Apple’s filing is baseless and we will be filing a response,” a company spokesman told AllThingsD.


Apple versus Samsung Full Coverage

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