FORTUNE -- The text at right is what Judge Judy Koh was prepared to tell the jury about Samsung's policy of automatically deleting e-mails that might have been relevant to its patent battle with Apple (AAPL).
Samsung objected. It insisted that Apple was equally guilty of evidence "spoliation." As proof, it pointed out that the record contained no e-mails from Steve Jobs that mentioned the patent trial in the period between 2010 (when Apple sued Samsung) and Jobs' death in 2011
Judge Koh seems to have been persuaded. FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller notes that late Sunday she filed an order that reversed a magistrate's judge's ruling and replaced the long instruction above with a pair of instructions that hold the two companies equally to blame. Unless Apple can change the judge's mind on Monday, she will tell the jury:
"Samsung Electronics Company has failed to preserve evidence for Apple's use in this litigation after Samsung Electronics Company's duty to preserve arose. Whether this fact is important to you in reaching a verdict in this case is for you to decide."
And the same thing about Apple:
"Apple has failed to preserve evidence for Samsung's use in this litigation after Apple's duty to preserve arose. Whether this fact is important to you in reaching a verdict in this case is for you to decide."
Mueller describes the new instructions as a "major breakthrough" for Samsung. "This reversal," he writes, "significantly increases the Korean company's chances of getting a verdict it can live with."
Samsung has much to gain by cutting a deal, as the judge requested. Apple not so much.
FORTUNE -- "It's time for peace," Judge Lucy Koh declared in federal court Wednesday, the ninth day of the jury trial in Apple's (AAPL) high-stakes patent infringement suit against Samsung. "I see risk here for both sides if we go to a verdict."
Christopher Carani, a partner at Chicago-based McAndrews, Held & Malloy and an authority on design MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 16, 2012 7:57 AM ET
Samsung has until 5 p.m. Thursday to explain why Susan Estrich was representing it
FORTUNE -- In addition to becoming the youngest woman win tenure at Harvard, running Michael Dukakis' presidential campaign, writing more than half a dozen books (most recently Soulless: Ann Coulter and the Right-Wing Church of Hate) and doing token liberal commentary for Fox News, Susan Estrich has, since 2008, been a partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, the law MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 9, 2012 11:06 AM ET
Meet the mysterious "tactical data center" that just popped up on Apple's server farm
FORTUNE -- The news that Apple (AAPL) was building a smaller, insect-shaped data center next to its big Maiden, N.C., server farm was broken -- of all places -- in the Hickory Daily Record, a 16,000-circulation paper owned by Berkshire Hathaway.
But it was Wired -- hiring the services of the Piper Cub-flying photographer who shot the first MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 4, 2012 11:08 AM ET
One reporter got his jaw split in half. Another enlisted an army of Twitter followers.
FORTUNE -- According to NYC Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Apple (AAPL) gadgets -- iPhones, iPads, iPods -- now represent four out of 10 thefts in New York City. The cops call it "Apple picking."
What should you do when your iOS device disappears? In the past week, we've been treated to two object lessons -- one painful, MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 3, 2012 6:38 AM ET
Rumors of new products can kill Apple sales. Rumors can also drive up the stock price
FORTUNE -- "Our weekly iPhone sales continue to be impacted by rumors and speculation regarding new products," Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook told analysts last Tuesday even as his company's share price was plummeting. Apple's iPhone sales had fallen short of expectations, and the Street was punishing the stock.
But rumors and speculation can also drive Apple MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 31, 2012 8:45 AM ET
The Surface is greeted with guffaws and catcalls from a camp that ought to know better
FORTUNE -- "I can sort of understand announcing without a ship date. But I can't understand announcing without prices," Daring Fireball's John Gruber wrote to his 205,000 followers on Twitter. "No battery life specs for either the ARM or Intel versions? Starting to think this is a hoax."
Gruber was reacting to Microsoft's (MSFT) big reveal Monday: The MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jun 19, 2012 8:11 PM ET
If, like me, you couldn't make it to San Francisco, you can still get the blow-by-blow
Assuming you're not in actually in the Yerba Buena Center auditorium today, the best way to find out what's going on inside Apple's (AAPL) iPad press event is to watch the live webcast -- assuming there is one. The company occasionally provides a video feed from these special events, but it never announces the fact MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 7, 2012 7:18 AM ET
When did an All Things Digital become the keeper of Apple's event calendar?
We don't recall getting an invitation from Apple to an event on Oct. 4 or any other date, but that hasn't stopped analysts from alerting their clients exactly what to expect from the company that day. Jeffries' Peter Misek, for example, issued this note on Friday:
Apple holding press event on October 4.
Takeaway: We expect Apple (AAPL) to focus MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Sep 23, 2011 11:16 AM ET
It didn't help that Best Buy asked it to take back its tablet which was a dud with consumers. But its core businesses aren't doing well either.
FORTUNE -- A report that Best Buy wants Hewlett-Packard to buy back all the TouchPad tablet computers that the retailer is storing, unsold, couldn't have been timed worse. HP is slated to announce its third-quarter results on Thursday, and while the TouchPad makes up only MOREAug 18, 2011 11:18 AM ET
|Tesla repays federal loan nearly 10 years early|
|How police can find your deleted text messages|
|HP soars as Meg Whitman turnaround continues|
|Stocks slip as Fed sends mixed message|
|New Jersey's "Operation Swill" cracks down on alleged liquor substitution|