Jobs gets wish in 'thermonuclear war,' at least for now

Steve Jobs has won the first battle of his self-declared "thermonuclear war" against Google's Android OS.

Ben Parr
Ben Parr is co-founder of #DominateFund, an early-stage venture capital fund; a CNET commentator; and the former co-editor of Mashable.
Ben Parr
2 min read
Jobs introducing the iPhone 4 in 2010. James Martin/CNET

Complete coverage: Apple v. Samsung, a battle over billions

Not long before his death, Steve Jobs told Walter Isaacson, the author of Jobs' authorized biography, about his pure hatred for Google Android:

"I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this."

Few things angered him more than Android, a mobile OS that he believed was copied from Apple's most creative minds and given for free by Google to manufacturers. And at least for today, the courts have sided with him.

In a stunning victory, a jury has awarded Apple more than $1 billion in damages for patent infringement. The jury decided that Samsung Electronics willfully infringed on five of six Apple patents. Apple, on the other hand, was not found liable of infringing on any of Samsung's patents.

This case is far from over, of course. Samsung will surely appeal this ruling, and the damages could be reduced. In any case, $1.05 billion is a drop in the bucket for behemoths like Samsung and Apple.

The damages aren't the important part, though. What's important is this: Apple now has loads of ammunition to use in suing other Android device makers and even potentially Google itself. And you can be sure this won't be the last lawsuit Apple levies against Samsung. It's the billion dollar cherry on top for Tim Cook's stellar first year as Apple's CEO.

There are still a lot of issues to sort out in this complicated case, but what's clear is this: Steve Jobs has decisively won the first battle in his thermonuclear war against Android. Apple's revered late leader has gotten his wish, at least for today.