The high-profile legal battle between Samsung Electronics and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) likely will be delivered into jurors hands today as the companies finish their closing arguments and the nine-person jury begins deliberations. And though legal experts have been closely watching the proceedings--and various media outlets have been filing dozens of stories about trial minutia--there appears to be little consensus as to what the result will be.
"I am worried we might have a seriously confused jury here," U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh told the lawyers from both sides, according to CNET. "I have trouble understanding this, and I have spent a little more time with this than they have."
According to CNET, the jurors will receive a 100-page instruction sheet when they begin deliberations, and then a 21-page tentative verdict form. Jurors will use the verdict form to decide which products infringe on which patents--Apple and Samsung argue that the other is infringing on various patents for technologies and designs.
Indeed, the issue appears complex enough that even the CEOs from Apple and Samsung were not able to come to an agreement before the closing of the case, preferring instead to send the issue to the jury. According to CNET, Koh ordered the companies to again attempt to negotiate a settlement, but, according to a Samsung lawyer, "there was no resolution."
The case could represent a key marker for Apple, Samsung and the wider mobile industry. In the balance are billions of dollars of damages as well as a legal precedent that the winner could use to its advantage. If Apple emerges victorious, the company could then bring its patents against other smartphone vendors. And if Samsung wins, the ruling could pave the way for additional smartphone vendors to enter the market without worry of patent-infringement lawsuits.
Of course, it is reasonable to expect the loser to appeal whatever the jury rules in the case, and the appeal process could stretch out the issue for years to come.
Though the race is close, some see Samsung as the underdog.
"Saying Apple is a copyist is going be a hard sell," Ellen Brickman, a New York-based jury and trial consultant, told the AP. She said that, due to the success of the iPhone, jurors likely won't favor Samsung's argument in the case. Brickman also noted that the case is being tried just 10 miles from Apple's headquarters, where former CEO Steve Jobs managed to generate worldwide recognition before his death.
In other Samsung vs. Apple news, the companies continue to battle over a sales ban on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The case is separate from the one currently underway in California.
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