Samsung was upset by this ruling, in part because the date at which they were accused of not saving all of their emails was well before the lawsuit was filed, but mostly because Apple had not ordered its employees to start saving their emails at that point either – and since Apple was the one who brought the initial lawsuit, Samsung reasoned that they had to be at least as aware that a lawsuit was coming, and therefore equally responsible for saving messages that could be evidence – something Apple also failed to do.
Judge Koh agreed with Samsung’s reasoning, and today changed the wording so that the jury will now be told that both sides failed to preserve internal emails starting as soon as they should have. The result is that the jury will not be unduly prejudiced about Samsung’s honesty, a point that could have weighed heavily on a jury of ordinary citizens trying to render a decision about the thorny technical issues surrounding software and design patents.
Of course that doesn’t mean a jury will (or won’t) find in favor of Samsung, but Samsung’s victory here means that they will start their deliberations on more even footing. Assuming Koh’s ruling survives a vigorous set of challenges from Apple’s legal team, which are probably being mounted in San Francisco right this very moment.