The jury in the Samsung/Apple patent fight took nearly everyone by surprise by rushing through its job and finishing it way, way, way before anyone expected. They didn't even ask any questions and with about 700 questions to answer, they breezed through it in no time. It was not a total
victory for Apple (apparently the design patent on rounded-edge rectangles wasn't infringed), but it was pretty close. In the end, Samsung was found to infringe an awful lot of things (and sometimes willfully) and the the final bill is a stunning $1.05 billion owed to Apple
. There's still a lot to sort through in the details, but this is a massive victory for Apple. Of course, Samsung has probably already written up its appeal (or will ask the judge to set the jury verdict aside or something), so this case is likely to be around for many years, but yet again we see just how ridiculous patent law can be. What the hell is wrong with competing in the marketplace? If Apple thinks Samsungs' phones and tablets are too similar? Well, keep on innovating. It's called competition, and now we'll have less of it...
: After the rush, the judge came back to point out two problems with the verdict -- including the jury awarding damages in cases where it had not found infringement
. While this will be corrected and won't change the results much, it certainly suggests that the jury rushed through this and may not have taken this particularly seriously. When you start talking about the numbers being thrown around in damages here, at some point, it must start to feel like play money. But it's a pretty big indictment of the jury itself that it would make a mistake like this. It raises significant questions about how careful they were in getting to a verdict vs. how quickly they wanted to be done in time for the weekend.