Intel, AMD feud over evidence in antitrust case

Chipmakers file motions in the U.S. District Court in Delaware, seeking sanctions against each other related to the retention of information in the 2005 antitrust case.

Intel and Advanced Micro Devices filed motions on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in Delaware, seeking sanctions against each other. Both motions are related to the retention of information in the antitrust case filed by AMD in 2005.

Intel's motion asserts that AMD failed to adequately retain documents in the case it filed against Intel in 2005. "AMD misrepresented its efforts and tried to hide its failures from the court and Intel," according to an Intel statement Wednesday.

The chipmaker alleges that AMD's claims about document retention were exaggerated. "Ever since Intel disclosed its problems in 2007, AMD claimed to have an 'exemplary' scheme to retain documents in this case. It is now clear that AMD did not, and that some AMD executives and employees failed to retain thousands of documents and e-mails," according to Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy.

In the legal filing, Intel summarized its argument under the heading: "Summary of Argument: AMD Should Be Ordered To Do What Intel Long Ago Did Voluntarily." Intel stated: "At least by January of 2005, AMD reasonably anticipated its lawsuit against Intel and did everything a future plaintiff would to do to prepare for that case...But (it) did not start retaining relevant documents, the one thing the law obligated it to do."

Intel said its effort to "remediate or correct" mistakes it made in the discovery process cost the company tens of millions of dollars. It said it believes that it has complied with the plan and successfully corrected the problem. "As a result, Intel delivered nearly 200 million pages of documents to AMD."

AMD motion cites Intel's "auto-delete shredder"
In addition to dismissing the Intel motion as having "no merit," AMD filed a separate motion on Wednesday about Intel's "failure to preserve evidence."

AMD challenged Intel's claim that its remediation efforts (mentioned above) were successful. "Intel could have easily avoided this evidence preservation fiasco, had it and its counsel exercised a modicum of diligence in designing and implementing an effective document preservation program," AMD said.

This "fiasco," AMD said, led to "Intel's much-heralded, high-vaunted, but ultimately unsuccessful, attempt at remediation."

An excerpt from the filing continues: "At the heart of Intel's preservation problems was its failure to disarm an aggressive auto-delete system, despite uncontroverted authority required it do so...It's auto-delete shredder continued to run without any safety net."

AMD also alleged that "Intel has severely and irreparably harmed AMD's ability to present its case. At a company where paper trails are strongly discouraged, Intel imposed a 'move it or lose it' document preservation regime, where any document not manually saved was permanently expunged."

In the conclusion, AMD states that it "has submitted a proposed jury instruction for the court that attempts to remedy prejudice caused by Intel's spoliation of evidence." The instruction provides that the jury be told that Intel "destroyed hundreds of thousands of relevant documents."

Updated at 3:10 p.m. PDT, adding statements from Intel and AMD motions.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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