This is the week a jury takes on the burden of deciding the fate Apple and Samsung in their closely watched patent infringement case. Is this the culmination of the smartphone patent wars, at least as we know them? Is this the line of demarcation from which reasonable licensing takes precedence over litigation? Probably not.
Valuators should pay particularly close attention to how the jury decides with respect to the design patents in suit. During the trial Apple lawyers presented evidence that Samsung developers were in a self-acknowledged “crisis of design,” and Apple’s design v. Samsung’s at the time was compared to “heaven and earth.” Internal documents apparently suggest directly that Samsung’s design should be more like Apple’s. In short, Apple has a strong case here, and if they do not prevail, expect a plethora of copycats who will feel they can mimic Apple smartphone and iPad designs with impunity.