07:44 AM

3.6.07 Intel can't find emails for AMD lawsuit

Well it would be handy to AMD's lawsuit alleging anticompetitive behavior against Intel, but the chip giant just can't seem to find some of the emails AMD asked to see, the Mercury News reports.

Intel told U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Farnan that it had some "document retention lapses" in the discovery process.

Intel said it has been communicating its problems with AMD and that it is doing everything it can to piece together e-mails that were inadvertently deleted by employees. It said that certain employees failed to move e-mails from their sent boxes to their hard drives, as the company asked them to do, and that they were purged automatically by Intel's e-mail system.

AMD's response? In typical fashion, Intel's archrival says the "lapses" were hardly inadvertant. The Mercury reports AMD wrote in a court filing:

``Intel executives at the highest level failed to receive or to heed instructions essential for the preservation of their records, and Intel and its counsel failed to institute and police a reliable backup system as a fail-safe against human error.''

Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy said, "We did not intentionally destroy anything. We are attempting to recover everything. We are leaving no stone unturned."
He said Intel is spending ``millions'' on looking for e-mails, reconstructing e-mail traffic and creating a new backup system.

Intel said that in July 2005, it sent a notice to hundreds of employees who, based on the complaint, were the most likely to possess relevant documents. It asked those employees to save their sent e-mails and other documents to their hard drives.

But some employees did not comply with all the requests, and some terminated employees' documents may also not have been saved.
Mulloy said that from December through last week, Intel has supplied more than 17 million documents to AMD as part of the discovery process.

If the court finds Intel's failure to produce the emails unjustified, it may impose sanctions. In an extreme case, the court could dismiss the case against the party who refuses to disclose. It's more likely the court could impose financial penalties and block Intel from making certain arguments in the trial.