Samsung-Apple: The verdict's in

The legal battle between Samsung and Apple has been decided—at least, for now. On Friday afternoon a federal jury decided largely in Apple's favor, awarding Apple more than a billion dollars in damages.

The result is extremely complex and is, as of this writing, still being wrangled over in court. But the initial finding appears to be a whole lot of hurt for Samsung and a victory for Apple. The bigger question is, what does this mean for innovation and competition in the tech industry?

The positive way to view this: That the verdict will push companies away from simple knock-offs and toward differentiation. The negative way to view this: It'll cast a pall over an industry already hammered by endless lawsuits over patents, stifling innovation.

"Raising the bar with different designs, user experiences, interfaces all will help the market long term," wrote mobile-industry analyst Michael Gartenberg on Twitter. "Companies like Nokia and Microsoft have shown they can create differentiated compelling experiences. Larger implications will be for other vendors who will have to carefully look at their designs post verdict. Great design may be obvious when you see it but it takes a ton of work, vision refinement to make it all come together as an experience."

We'll have much more about this verdict on our family of sites—TechHive, Macworld, and PCWorld—over the next few days.

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