Jobs’ vow to destroy Android fair game at Motorola trial

Steve Jobs’ incendiary comments about Android (s GOOG) in his biography have been ruled fair game for Motorola’s lawyers in its upcoming trial versus Apple(s AAPL). The presiding judge laid out some of the ground rules for the case this week, many of which were not in Apple’s favor.
On Thursday, federal Judge Richard Posner, who’s assigned to the trial set to begin later this month over a series of alleged smartphone patent violations, refused a request by Apple’s legal team to exclude quotes from Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography accusing Google of stealing from Apple. Some examples:

  • “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.”

Reuters reports that on Thursday Posner “rejected Apple’s request without explanation.”
Then a day later the judge essentially instructed Apple not to try to win points with jurors based on sentimentality over the late Apple founder, his popularity, or that of Apple. FOSS Patents records Posner’s words from Friday:

“More broadly, I forbid Apple to insinuate to the jury that this case is a popularity contest and jurors should be predisposed to render a verdict for Apple if they like Apple products or the Apple company or admire Steve Jobs, or if they dislike Motorola or Google.”

The trial is scheduled to start on June 11 in the U.S. District Court for Northern Illinois. That’s not to be confused with the other trial involving Apple and Samsung, which is set for July 30. It’s going to be an interesting summer for Apple’s legal team.