Judge penalizes Samsung for failing to produce source code in Apple infringement trial

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United States District Court Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal has granted Apple its requested Motion for Sanctions, penalizing Samsung for refusing to provide evidence in a timely fashion.

Apple requested the court sanction Samsung in March, arguing that Samsung has repeatedly failed to produce documents and source code ordered by the court, and that theses delays were creating an onerous burden because of the time consuming analysis of Samsung's continually changing Android code made asserting any claims of patent infringement a "moving target."

Two weeks ago, Samsung was found by the same judge to be in violation of a court order requiring the firm to product documents mentioning Apple's products, evidence Apple plans to use to prove that Samsung willfully infringed upon its designs. This resulted in a fine.

Now, Samsung's delay tactics have resulted in an additional and more serious rebuke by Judge Grewal, who ordered that "Samsung's failure to adequately produce source code to Apple violated the court's December 22 Order," as reported by Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents.

The source code was supposed to document how Samsung had worked around design or technical elements Apple had patented, including the "overscroll bounce" described in U.S. Patent No. 7,469,381.

Instead of producing this evidence, which could be used to help Samsung's case (but could also be used by Apple to prove additional or continued infringement) the company chose instead to keep Apple and the court waiting.

Attorneys for the iPhone maker argued that it was "too late for Apple to make meaningful use of any late produced source code" from Samsung, and petitioned the judge to ban Samsung from "relying on or in any way using the source code it failed to timely produce under the December 22, 2011 order."

Judge Grewal has now subsequently ruled that "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 versions of code that were produced on or before December 31, 2011."

Mueller explains, "In other words, Samsung may have to assume liability for continued use of old, possibly infringing code because the new, possibly non-infringing code wasn't shown in time."