Bombs Away! Judge Rules Steve Jobs’s “Thermonuclear” Comment Fair Game in Android Case.
Chicago federal judge Richard Posner, who’s presiding over the case, has ruled that Motorola is free to reference Jobs’s … colorful remarks if it so chooses. Which means the late Apple co-founder’s incendiary “thermonuclear war” quote will likely find its way into the case.
“Our lawsuit is saying, ‘Google, you fucking ripped off the iPhone, wholesale ripped us off,’” the infamous quote reads. “Grand theft. … 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.”
Apple last month filed a request to bar Motorola Mobility from making any reference to this quote and others from Isaacson’s biography of Jobs “to avoid any potential prejudice to Apple.” But Posner denied that request without explanation.
So Jobs’s posthumously published take on Android and Apple’s litigation against it is fair game in the courtroom, and the jury will almost certainly hear it. One thing the jury will not be hearing: Any news reports or publicity praising Apple, its products or Jobs.
On the same day Posner allowed Jobs’s remarks to Isaacson into the case, he barred Apple from appealing to jurors’ brand allegiance to Apple. Said Posner, “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.”