A judge will allow the late Steve Jobs’ “thermonuclear war’ comments about Motorola in an upcoming patent trial between the company and Apple, reports “Reuters” (http://macte.ch/IgfPI).

Jobs told his biographer Walter Isaacson that Motorola had “ripped off the iPhone,” commented “grand theft” and that he was “willing to go to thermonuclear war on this.” In a May court filing, Apple acknowledged that Jobs was “very angry” over Google’s behavior, notes “Reuters.”

“To avoid any potential prejudice to Apple if Motorola attempts to use the book to appeal to the jury’s passion,” the filing says, “Apple asks that the court prevent any reference to the Jobs book during the trial.” In a brief order filed on May 31, Chicago federal judge Richard Posner rejected Apple’s request without explanation, says “Reuters.”

All this is part of an ongoing battle between the two companies. Apple has previously alleged that Motorola infringes 24 of its patents (21 of them with Android-based phones, the remaining three with set-top boxes and DVRs), while Motorola previously asserted 18 patents against a variety of Apple products (mostly but not exclusively iPhone, iPad and iPod). Litigation between the two companies has taken place in several different federal courts.

In November 2010 Apple sued Motorola, alleging that the company’s smartphone lineup and the operating software it uses infringe on the iPhone-maker’s intellectual property. The two lawsuits came after Motorola sued Apple in October 2010 for patent infringement. Motorola claims that Apple’s iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and certain Mac computers infringe Motorola patents.