Steve Jobs shouldn't influence upcoming Apple/Samsung trial: judge

SAN JOSE, California Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:14pm EDT

Apple Computer Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs holds the new iPhone in San Francisco, California January 9, 2007. REUTERS/Kimberly White

Apple Computer Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs holds the new iPhone in San Francisco, California January 9, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Kimberly White

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SAN JOSE, California (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Wednesday approved Apple Inc's request to bar disparaging statements by Steve Jobs about Google's Android operating system from an upcoming patent trial against Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.

Apple and Samsung, the world's largest consumer electronics corporations, are waging legal war in several countries, accusing each other of patent violations as they vie for supremacy in the fast-growing market for mobile devices.

Samsung's phones and tablet run on the Android operating system, developed by Google.

Before he died last year, Apple co-founder Jobs made a number of statements to his biographer about the company's intellectual property, saying he was willing to go "thermonuclear" to "destroy" Google's operating system.

In seeking to introduce Jobs' statements in court, Samsung argued in a filing that the thermonuclear quote "speaks 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."

However, Apple argued in a court filing that Jobs' quotes are an inadmissible distraction, and asked that they be barred from trial.

At a hearing in a San Jose, California federal court on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh said Jobs' statements were not relevant.

"I really don't think this is a trial about Steve Jobs," Koh said.

Apple sued Samsung last year, claiming the South Korean company blatantly copies its designs for the iPhone and iPad. Samsung denies the allegations and has countersued.

The trial is scheduled to begin July 30. Apple has won pretrial injunctions against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Galaxy Nexus phone. Samsung is appealing both injunctions.

In another case in the smartphone wars, Chicago federal judge Richard Posner had said Jobs' quotes would be fair game in a trial between Apple and Google's Motorola Mobility unit. However, Posner eventually dismissed that case before trial, saying neither side could prove damages.

Also on Wednesday, Koh ruled that evidence about Apple's operations in China could be discussed, but could not be cast as human rights problems. Evidence of Samsung's taxes paid in the U.S. could also be discussed, Koh ruled, but Apple would not be able to make any insinuations of tax avoidance.

The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, is Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd et al, 11-1846.

(Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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Comments (4)
Eric.Klein wrote:
This case should come for trial around the same time Apple is required to “publish announcements that Samsung did not copy the design of its iPad” under a ruling by a UK judge. (http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-18895384)

Should make for an interesting courtroom drama:
Apple lawyer: Your honor we contend that Samsung blatantly copied the iPad.
Samsung lawyer: We object, the Apple.com website says that “Samsung did not copy the design of its iPad”, so how can they claim something that contradicts their own website?
Judge: Well which is it do they or don’t they?
Apple: Well you see in the UK they don’t, but here in the USA they do.

Jul 19, 2012 4:44am EDT  --  Report as abuse
quasitraveler wrote:
The judge should have allowed Steve’s remarks to be heard in court because it has a huge bearing on the case. Jobs’ arrogance drove him to attempt tear apart any company that he deemed a threat to Apple or his own ego!

Jul 19, 2012 3:04pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Steve Jobs proved that you can make a great achievement without following the status quo. He inspired a lot of people including me. I really miss the Apple creator. There’s a memorial page for him on Evertalk within Facebook.

Jul 20, 2012 11:49am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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