Apple, the owner of patents for smartphone technology, brought a patent infringement action against Samsung. The Court, in a comprehensive discussion of preservation obligations, found that the duty to preserve evidence may attach prior to the filing of suit, when the party first knows or reasonably should know of actual or pending litigation – even where the parties have a history of being able to negotiate and resolve their differences without resort to formal litigation. Based on the facts and circumstances, the Magistrate’s inference was tempered to allow the jury to draw its own conclusions about whether the missing evidence would have been relevant to the claims. In addition, the inference was narrowed to only the one specific Samsung entity defendant in question. Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., No. 11-01846, 2012 WL 3627731 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 21, 2012).
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