Judge won't bar Steve Jobs quotes from patent trial
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Steve Jobs gave a lot of juicy quotes before he died, and Apple Inc (AAPL.O) has failed to keep some of them out of an upcoming patent trial against Google's (GOOG.O) Motorola Mobility unit, according to a court ruling.
Apple and Motorola are scheduled for a high profile patent trial in a Chicago federal court later this month. It is one of several intellectual property cases between tech giants over smartphones and tablets using Google's Android operating system.
Jobs was Apple's iconic and often-outspoken chief executive until he stepped down shortly before his death last year. However, Jobs had discussed Apple's patent litigation with biographer Walter Isaacson.
"Our lawsuit is saying, 'Google, you fucking ripped off the iPhone, wholesale ripped us off,'" Jobs told Isaacson. "Grand theft."
He added: "I'm willing to go to thermonuclear war on this."
In a court filing last month, Apple acknowledged that Jobs was "very angry" over Google's behavior.
"To avoid any potential prejudice to Apple if Motorola attempts to use the book to appeal to the jury's passion," the filing says, "Apple asks that the court prevent any reference to the Jobs book during the trial."
In a brief order filed on Thursday, Chicago federal judge Richard Posner rejected Apple's request without explanation.
Representatives for Apple and Motorola did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Apple also has said it would ask a California federal judge to keep Isaacson's book out of its upcoming patent trial against Samsung Electronics (005930.KS), scheduled for July.
In a separate order on Thursday, Posner forbid Apple from arguing that jurors should be predisposed to favor Apple over Motorola if they like Apple products, or admire Jobs.
"I forbid Apple to insinuate to the jury that this case is a popularity contest," Posner wrote.
The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois is Apple Inc. And NeXT Software Inc. V. Motorola Inc. and Motorola Mobility Inc., 11-cv-8540.
(Reporting By Dan Levine; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)