Apple’s not taking Samsung’s latest breach of legal decorum lightly.
After the Korean tech giant “leaked” excluded exhibits to the media in an apparent attempt to sway jurors in its favor, Apple’s legal team is requesting that the court immediately issue a default victory to the Cupertino company. While said win would only encompass the design portions of the case (and roughly $1 billion of the total $2.5 billion in damages sought), it would represent a decided blow against Samsung for the remainder of proceedings.
Apple’s motion to the court didn’t mince any words:
Samsung already has been sanctioned four times in this case for discovery abuses. Most recently, Samsung was sanctioned for destroying evidence. 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.
Naturally, there are other options. MacRumors explains that Apple proposed as an alternative
a somewhat lesser sanction that would see the jury informed of Samsung’s misconduct and instructed that the court believes Samsung to have infringed Apple’s designs, with Samsung also being barred from any further discussion of the disputed evidence.
Of course, if the jury is told that “the court believes Samsung to have infringed Apple’s designs,” that’s pretty much as functionally damning as an outright judgment and could potentially sway jurors artificially on the merits of the case’s remainder.
Apple, you sneaky!