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Samsung Gets a Wrist Slap from a Judge in Lead Up to a Case with Apple

by Sean P. Aune | May 7, 2012May 7, 2012 6:45 pm PDT

Apple vs Samsung Lawsuit

Apple has won a sanction against Samsung in one of its many lawsuits because the latter failed to produce evidence that the court ordered it to.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal has issued a sanction against Samsung at the behest of Apple as the Korean-based company failed to follow through on a court order he issued last year.  The case revolves around accusations that Samsung violated an Apple patent that related to swiping screens in its TouchWiz interface for Android devices.  Samsung later changed the code in a workaround to the patent that was referred to as the “Blue Glow” fix.  Under court orders, Samsung was to provide a copy of the new code to Apple for inspection, but it missed the deadline and never made any move to do so.

Apple then went to Judge Grewal and asked for a sanction to be leveled at Samsung.  On Friday the judge did so.

In accordance with the foregoing, the court GRANTS Apple’s Motion for Sanctions, and finds that Samsung’s failure to adequately produce source code to Apple violated the court’s December 22 Order. Samsung shall be precluded from offering any evidence of its design-around efforts for the ’381, ’891, and ’163 patents, and shall not argue that the design-arounds are in any way distinct from those versions of code produced in accordance with the court’s order. Samsung must instead rely solely on the version of code that were produced on or before December 31, 2011.

The problem for Samsung with this ruling is that the workaround was not released until after that date, so what can be presented in court will only be the version that supposedly infringes the patents.

Why Samsung failed to produce this code is a mystery. All code in the case is submitted to third-party experts for examination, so no Apple executives and technicians never see the code, so you can’t say they were trying to make sure Apple didn’t steal anything. Submitting the code in accordance with the court order could have only helped the company’s case.

Samsung can appeal the sanction to the presiding judge of the case, Judge Lucy Koh, but she has already demonstrated a frustration with both companies in this case, so we’re not sure how well she’ll receive this appeal.

[via FOSS Patents]


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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