A federal judge has granted Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) request that statements by Steve Jobs about Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system be banned from the company’s patent trial against Samsung scheduled to begin on July 30.
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Before he died last year, Jobs made several withering statements to his biographer about intellectual property disputes, saying he wanted to go “thermonuclear” and “destroy” Google’s mobile software. Samsung’s phones and tablet run on Android.
Apple appealed in a court filing that Jobs’ quotes were an inadmissible distraction. Samsung had earlier argued that Jobs’ quote spoke to “Apple’s bias, improper motives and its lack of belief in its own claims in that they are a means to an end, namely the destruction of Android,” Reuters reported.
However, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh sided with Apple and said Jobs’ statements were not relevant. “I really don’t think this is a trial about Steve Jobs,” Koh said.
Koh also ruled that evidence about Apple’s operations in China could be discussed, but could not be cast as human rights problems. The judge also said that evidence of Samsung’s taxes paid in the U.S. could also be discussed, but that Apple would not be able to make any insinuations of tax avoidance.
Apple and Samsung have been battling each other over intellectual property disputes in several countries, accusing each other of patent violations. Apple filed a lawsuit against Samsung last year, claiming the South Korean company copied its designs for the iPhone and iPad. Samsung denied the allegations and has countersued.
In a separate case that was eventually dismissed before trial, Chicago federal judge Richard Posner had ruled that Jobs’ quotes would be allowed in a trial between Apple and Google’s Motorola Mobility.
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