PersonalWeb Technologies LLC v. Google, Inc. et al., 5-13-cv-01317 (CAND February 13, 2014, Order) (Lloyd, M.J.)
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Plaintiff's Obligation to Preserve Evidence Arose Upon Acquisition of Asserted Patent
The court awarded monetary sanctions for plaintiff's instruction to employees to delete certain emails before filing suit and failure to implement a litigation hold until after filing suit because plaintiff's duty to preserve information arose when it acquired the patents-in-suit. "The Court agrees that [plaintiff] probably acquired the patents with an eye toward litigation. However, it is difficult to say that litigation was reasonably foreseeable before [plaintiff] even acquired the thing which would give it standing to sue. Thus, since [its] acquisition of the patents was a condition precedent to its ability to even initiate the litigation, the Court thinks it was likewise a condition precedent to [plaintiff's] duty to preserve evidence."