Judge refuses to bar Steve Jobs quotes from patent case

A judge has refused to bar quotes from the late Steve Jobs in an upcoming patent case between Apple and Motorola.


The late Steve Jobs could influence how Apple fares in its upcoming patent case with Motorola. And it might not be good news for Apple, Reuters reports.

Aware that Jobs' heated comments about Google in Walter Isaacson's biography could reflect unfavourably on the company, Apple asked for the book to be banned from being referenced in the case. But the judge refused.

Acknowledging that Jobs was "very angry" about Google's behaviour, Apple filed a motion last month. It reads: "To avoid any potential prejudice to Apple if Motorola attempts to use the book to appeal to the jury's passion, Apple asks that the court prevent any reference to the Jobs book during the trial."

Chicago federal judge Richard Posner rejected the request without explanation. 

Jobs was indeed pretty angry. He told Isaacson: "Our lawsuit is saying, 'Google, you f**king ripped off the iPhone, wholesale ripped us off.' Grand theft." And then of course the classic: "I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this." He also thought the iPhone antenna problem was a Google smear.

The comments have more import now that Google owns Motorola

Apple will also ask a California federal judge to keep the book out of its upcoming patent trial against Samsung, set to take place next month. We'll have to see if it has better luck closer to home.

The Chicago judge who rejected Apple's request also warned the company against playing to its huge fan base. "I forbid Apple to insinuate to the jury that this case is a popularity contest," Posner wrote. Sounds like he's not to be messed with.

Apple sat down with Samsung to try and work out a reasonable solution to these legal squabbles, but nothing seems to have come from these meetings. In fact, the two were still firing writs at each other just days before. Play nice, chaps.

Should Jobs' biography be barred from the case? Let me know what you think in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.

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