an unpublished statement to the U.S. District Court of Delaware, AMD alleges Intel allowed
the destruction of evidence in pending antitrust litigation.
According to the opening letter of the AMD statement,
"Through what appears to be a combination of gross communication failures,
an ill-conceived plan of document retention and lackluster oversight by outside
counsel, Intel has apparently allowed evidence to be destroyed."
Intel's current email system automatically purges emails sent or received by its
employees every 35 days. Senior executive data is purged every 45 to 60
days. Additionally, Intel's backup system recycles every other cycle -- immediately overwriting any backup data during tape rotation.
AMD alleges that more than a third of 1,027 case-specific Intel employees did not receive instructions to retain their data after the 2005 case initiation. Of the individuals who retained data, AMD alleges the majority did
not retain "sent" emails. These employees, dubbed
"custodians," are persons of interest in the legal proceedings.
According to Intel, 217 of these 1,027 custodians have been "identified," and must retain all
data as per instruction of the court. AMD has the right to identify another
254 employees for court scrutiny of data -- to date AMD has already identified
74 of those 254.
Intel admits the data lapse, claiming "Intel does not have weekly back-up
tapes for every custodian on the custodian list. Some were inadvertently not migrated
to the server in 2005, and some, who were later identified, were not migrated
on such identification. In addition, some weekly back-up tapes appear to
have been recycled."
Intel's letter to Judge Joseph Farnan also explains that layoffs and corporate
restructuring in 2006 caused some oversight in the data retention.
"In the course of routine work on the case we learned that a small
percentage of post-filing e-mail was not being retained in the way we believed
it was. This led to a broader study and the implementation of new
procedures," Intel spokesman Chuck Malloy said to DailyTech.
"We are still actively checking the availability of back-up tapes and
secondary sources to find every bit of e-mail in question. We haven't yet
finished that effort."
The AMD report counters, "AMD always believed -- and for good reason,
still believes -- that the most probative evidence of Intel exclusion would
reside in the electronic files and documents Intel created after the lawsuit
started, evidence that Intel would be obligated to preserve."
AMD has asked the court to have Intel supply a list documenting a
custodian-by-custodian tally of the retention inventory and any salvageable
Expect the official trial for the proceedings to start in 2009. Statements made by AMD and Intel in court may be published later this week.