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Apple to file sanctions over Samsung's evidence 'leak'

In a letter to Judge Lucy Koh on Wednesday, Apple said it plans to file an emergency motion for sanctions and "other relief that may be appropriate" as a result of Samsung's issuance of excluded evidence to media outlets earlier this week.

Apple's letter informed Judge Koh, who is presiding over the Apple v. Samsung California court case, the motion for sanctions would be filed later on Wednesday ahead of possible talks over the issue to follow on Thursday but as of this writing no such document has been seen. The letter was issued by Apple attorney William Lee, a partner in the Litigation/Controversy and Intellectual Property Departments at law firm WilmerHale.

Samsung on Tuesday released an email with presentation slides containing text of a deposition from former Apple designer Shin Nishibori regarding a "Sony-styled" iPhone, an exhibit that Judge Koh ruled could not be used during the trial. The Korean company also issued a statement saying "the excluded evidence would have established beyond doubt that Samsung did not copy the iPhone design."

When Apple notified Judge Koh of the situation the jurist reprimanded Samsung's legal counsel, ordering a brief detailing who authorized the email. John Quinn of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP filed his declaration on Wednesday saying he authorized the dissemination but argued the action was "ethical" and "legal" according to standards put forth by the Court.

William Lee

WilmerHale partner William Lee.
Source: WilmerHale

The entirety of Samsung's statement was reprinted in Apple's letter and accompanied examples of media reports containing the leaked evidence:

The Judge's exclusion of evidence on independent creation meant that even though Apple was allowed to inaccurately argue to the jury that the F700 was an iPhone copy, Samsung was not allowed to tell the jury the full story and show the pre-iPhone design for that and other phones that were in development at Samsung in 2006, before the iPhone. The excluded evidence would have established beyond doubt that Samsung did not copy the iPhone design. Fundamental fairness requires that the jury decide the case based on all the evidence.

Apple argues the statement's repeated reference to the jury can be interpreted as a deliberate attempt to influence the trial, however Quinn said exactly the opposite in his declaration:

Samsung's brief statement and transmission of public materials in response to press inquiries was not motivated by or designed to influence jurors. The members of the jury had already been selected at the time of the statement and the transmission of these public exhibits, and had been specifically instructed not to read any form of media relating to this case.

The Apple v. Samsung trial is scheduled to reconvene on Friday when Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller will retake the stand to complete his testimony which was cut short on Tuesday. It was recently reported that Schiller will be followed by Apple's iOS chief Scott Forstall.