The words of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs still carry great weight even after his death, according to a California federal judge. Negative comments he made about Google’s Android operating system may not be introduced in the patent infringement trial between Apple and Samsung Electronics.
As we have previously discussed on this IP blog, Apple alleges that Samsung’s Galaxy phones and tablets infringe upon Apple patents and that Samsung unlawfully copied design and functionality elements of its iPhones and iPads. Meanwhile, Samsung alleges that Apple had violated a number of Samsung’s wireless networking patents.
The statements at issue were made when Jobs spoke with his biographer about the company's intellectual property shortly before his death last year. He stated, "I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear on this."
Samsung had hoped to introduce this statement at trial, arguing that it "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." Meanwhile, Apple contended that Jobs' quotes would be a distraction and should be inadmissible. Attorney for Apple argued, "Out-of-court statements by Mr. Isaacson about what Mr. Jobs allegedly said to his biographer are inadmissible hearsay irrelevant to any issue in this case."
At a hearing on Apple’s motion to bar the statements, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh agreed, concluding that they were not relevant. "I really don't think this is a trial about Steve Jobs," she stated.
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