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Steve Jobs' disdain for Android ruled irrelevant to Samsung trial

Whatever hostility Steve Jobs had towards Google's Android mobile operating system isn't relevant to the upcoming patent trial pitting Apple against Samsung, a federal judge ruled this week.

Samsung, which makes Android-based smartphones and tablets, had sought to introduce Jobs's bombastic remarks about Android as evidence in a US case brought against the South Korean company by Apple. The late Apple leader was quoted by his biographer Walter Isaacson as saying he intended to go "thermonuclear" in an effort to "destroy" Android.

Jobs, who co-founded Apple with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne in 1976, died last year. Apple and Samsung are engaged in legal battles over alleged patent violations in several venues around the world.

Samsung argued that Jobs's thermonuclear remark "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," according to Reuters.

But US District Judge Lucy Koh on Wednesday found Apple's counterargument that the quotes were "an inadmissible distraction" more persuasive and barred their introduction at trial, the news agency reported.

"I really don't think this is a trial about Steve Jobs," Koh said.

Another federal judge, Richard Posner, had ruled earlier that Jobs's quotes would be admissible in a pending trial between Apple and Motorola Mobility, but that case was ultimately dismissed before reaching trial.

In a separate matter being discussed in the pre-trial phase, Koh ruled that Samsung could discuss Apple's manufacturing operations in China but that they "could not be cast as human rights problems," according to the news agency.

The US trial is scheduled to start on 30 July.

In another patent battle between the two companies in the UK, a British judge this week ordered Apple to publicly state that Samsung did not copy the iPad with its Galaxy Tab tablets. That news came shortly after the High Court ruled that Samsung's Galaxy Tab tablets do not infringe on patents held by Apple.

So far, Samsung's legal efforts have generated better results abroad than in the US, where Samsung lost a bid earlier this month to temporarily halt a ban on its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet. The tablet was also banned in Germany until Samsung developed a modified version of the device.