In case you missed it, the Apple vs. Samsung patent infringement trial is taking place in U.S. District Court.

“The early decisions in this case by District Court Judge Lucy Koh cast an ominous shadow over Samsung’s prospects,” Charles Babcock reports for Informationweek. “Before the jury was seated, Koh had ruled in favor of an Apple request for a preliminary injunction against further sales of Samsung tablets, agreeing that Apple might be irreparably harmed if it had to wait for the outcome of the trial. The burden of proof needed to be strong for the judge to take such a stance, but she did, saying that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 is ‘virtually indistinguishable’ from Apple’s iPad in her ruling June 26. At the preliminary hearing last October, she stated that the Tab 10.1 ‘looks virtually identical’ to the iPad.”

Babcock reports, “Those are damning words in design patent litigation. In theory, a charge of copying can be upheld with only ‘substantial similarity,’ said Christopher Carani, chairman of the American Bar Association’s design rights committee and former chair of the American Intellectual Property Law Association committee on industrial design, in an interview. ‘Judge Koh appears to be of the mindset that the accused Samsung tablet easily meets the ‘substantially the same’ infringement standard — so much so that the facts lead to one and only one conclusion — infringement,’ Carani said.”

“‘The handwriting is on the wall’ as to the outcome of the case, as far as tablet design patents are concerned, Carani said. How much of this spills over to infringement charges on the iPhone is not clear, but an open-and-shut case against Samsung’s tablet would not portend well for that additional portion of the case, he said,” Babcock reports.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Time to pay the piper finally drawing near for the slavish copiers?

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Edward W.” for the heads up.]