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Microsoft is probably the big winner in Samsung’s defeat by Apple.  Well, Microsoft and Steve Job’s ghost.

Unless overturned on appeal, Apple now owns both tap to zoom and pinch to zoom.  I guess Android devices could be distributed with magnifying glasses.

When an issue is too complex to understand, I generally turn to a trusted expert to help me decide which side I should support.  In this case, Groklaw and EFF are the experts I turn to.  While neither side supports Samsung, they both oppose Apple.  The apologists for the fruity patent company will now have ammunition to further pollute discussion (as if we didn’t already have enough of that).

This isn’t an Apple v Android war.  This is an Apple v the future of mobile war.  While free and open will inevitably win in the end, there will be dark days until then.

Samsung has at least given the appearance of “protecting the record” which will make an appeal likely to succeed on at least some merits.  But unless the entire judgement can be vacated, it is indeed a somber day.

Update: The jury took 21 hours to answer 700 questions.  If they never yawned or stretched or got sidetracked, they spent just 1 minute 48 seconds on each question.  Some questions required math equations, these probably took longer…so some probably got less attention.  It will be interesting if any of the jurors go public just to hear the rationalization of how this meets due diligence.

Update 2: Groklaw is reporting: “The [jury] foreman told a court representative that the jurors had reached a decision without needing the instructions.”  If this turns out to be true, then we should get a ruling as a matter of law or a new trial.  A jury can not ignore the judge’s instructions.