It's probably way too early to start playing Taps, but holy hell, Samsung's
uphill battle just got exponentially steeper after a U.S. jury finished deliberating in the high profile patent trial waged by Apple
. The verdict? Samsung is guilty, of copying the look and feel of iPhone and iPad devices, of patent infringement, of rainy weather on sunny days, and everything else that added up to $1.051 billion in damages, of which Apple is to be paid (and maybe more). Somewhere out there, Dr. Evil is abandoning his plans of building weapons of planetary destruction and beefing up his patent portfolio instead.
The trial played out like a geek soap opera, and U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh sat center stage amid the drama. Samsung managed to tick off both Apple and Koh when it leaked disallowed evidence to the public, and towards the end, Koh suggested Apple's lawyers were "smoking crack" for trying to inundate the court with a massive witness list.
When it was all said and done, the nine-panel jury needed less than three days to deliberate and rule overwhelmingly in Apple's favor. In several instances, the jury found that Samsung had infringed on Apple's patents, and found that it was willful infringement in five out of seven patents. That's important, because it means the damages award could ultimately be tripled.
On the reverse side, the jury disagreed with Samsung that Apple infringed on any of its patents. About the only positive for Samsung is that the company's legal team was cleared of violating any antitrust laws, but outside of that, there wasn't much room to celebrate.
Samsung, which is the largest seller of smartphones in the U.S., will undoubtedly appeal the verdict, but the company faces a difficult road ahead. This also has huge implications on the Android ecosystem in general. Remember, Steve Jobs thought from the very beginning that Android was a blatant ripoff of iOS, and this verdict lays the foundation for Apple to aggressively pursue other Android players.