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Samsung slammed by judge after accusing Apple of tampering with evidence

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This morning Samsung objected to a photo of the Samsung Epic 4G Touch that Apple wants to use, accusing the company of tampering with the icon layout.

Galaxy S II
Galaxy S II

Things at Apple v. Samsung kicked off with a bang this morning, as Samsung accused Apple of tampering with the icon layout of one of its phones to look more like the iPhone. At issue is a photograph of the Epic Touch 4G that Apple presented which shows an icon layout that closely mirrors that of the iPhone. Samsung objected, saying that it noticed yesterday that the phone doesn't represent the state of the Epic 4G Touch out of the box. Samsung presented its own photo — which its attorneys said had been taken last night — which featured a different layout with a larger number of homescreens.

Judge Koh, whose temper has been growing increasingly short with both parties, took Samsung's legal team to task, actually questioning whether Samsung's photo was legitimate. She pointed out the Samsung's image didn't feature the Google search widget — something the company's attorneys said was present on the device out of the box. "Why does your homescreen not show the Google search box when you're telling me the phone has the Google search box," she asked, eventually demanding to just see the device in question herself. She then pointed out that Samsung's image featured yesterday's date — clearly indicating that the photo had not been taken on Sunday as alleged. Samsung's attorney eventually admitted he misspoke about the date.

As for Apple, attorney Michael Jacobs stated that the company's team hadn't touched the icon layout or tampered with the phones whatsoever. "There has been no manipulation... we've been rigorous about that." When asked if Apple had manipulated the icon layout of the Epic 4G Touch, Jacobs responded with a simple "no."

Koh overruled Samsung's objection, stating that "I find it not credible that Apple tampered with these phones." Moving forward, both parties will have to agree together in advance on any images used for joint exhibits, with Judge Koh warning "I'm not going to have this happen again."