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Steve Jobs' "thermonuclear war" quote barred from Apple-Samsung case

19 Jul 2012
Apple's Steve Jobs

A US judge has approved an Apple request to ban antagonistic comments made by former boss Steve Jobs about the Android operating system (OS) from an upcoming Samsung/Apple patent infringement case.

According to Reuters, Judge Lucy Koh has granted Apple's request based on her view that Steve Jobs' opinions are not pertinent to the case.

Samsung had argued that Jobs vow to go "thermonuclear war" on Android was evidence that Apple would do all it could to kill off the mobile phone OS. Apple is currently in court with Samsung on claims that the Galaxy Tab manufacturer infringed on Apple's design patents.

In the 2011 Jobs biography the Apple founder said that he would stop at nothing to take down Android.

"I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40bn in the bank to right this wrong," Jobs said in his biography.

"I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this."

Samsung had hoped to use Jobs quote to prove that Apple's only interest in the patent design suit was to weaken Android's mobile market share. Apple countered by arguing that Jobs words were irrelevant to the current case. Judge Koh agreed with Apple's stance.

"I really don't think this is a trial about Steve Jobs," Koh said during a preliminary hearing for the case.

Apple has pushed forth a global litany of patent lawsuits since 2010. The iPad creator has taken patent design suits to court in the US, the Netherlands, and the UK over the past two years.

The company was granted a pre-trial US sales injunction on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the Galaxy tab earlier this year. Samsung has since appealed both rulings. The case is set to begin on 30 July.

Steve Jobs, who died last year, was never one to hold back his opinions. The former chief executive chided both Google and Research in Motion about the iPhone dominance in the mobile market.

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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