It wasn't entirely unexpected that Apple would prevail over Samsung in their blockbuster US trial. Despite this, the verdict still sent shockwaves throughout the industry.
The trial, which saw Apple being awarded over $1-billion in damages, is a huge blow to the South Korean giant.
Sure, critics have pointed out that many Apple standards were derived from earlier innovations (app menus, full touchscreens). But it's hard to argue when leaked presentations show Samsung comparing its handsets with the iPhone.
It's an even bigger blow to consumers, with American users facing a sales block of some Samsung handsets. It's also a blow for freedom of choice - after all, why buy an expensive, locked-in iPhone when you can have an unlocked Android handset for less?
However, the decision, if it stands, has ramifications far beyond Samsung products.
Despite reassurances from Google that most of the infringements don't relate to the core Android functionality, the platform is still in Apple's sights if Steve Jobs' words were anything to go by.
The late Apple co-founder even went so far as to declare "thermonuclear war" on Android, insisting it was a stolen product.
On the one hand, the situation could work itself out, with Google and Apple coming to a prompt agreement, maybe entering a licensing deal of sorts.
After all, Google has a treasure trove of patents acquired after it bought Motorola Mobility. So, it's almost guaranteed that Android will continue its upward trajectory.
But on the other hand, this could be the start of a protracted legal battle between the two tech giants. And with similar cases playing out throughout the world, who knows when it'll end?
So, what could manufacturers do to avoid getting caught up?
Turning to Redmond
Microsoft stands to gain the most from the situation as it gears up for the launch of Windows Phone 8. The platform, with its impressive ecosystem (music, video, apps, search etc) and its integration with Windows 8, represents the firm's most aggressive challenge yet.
Featuring its distinctive live tile system, no-one is ever going to confuse Microsoft's effort with Apple's iOS platform. In fact, Apple went so far as to show off a Lumia handset as proof that smartphones can look different.
But aside from Nokia, hardware support has been disappointing, with OEMs such as HTC, Samsung and LG releasing a few token handsets each year.
It's by no means entirely the OEM's fault, as Windows Phone 7 still has a few glaring issues. For instance, there's no support for multi-core chipsets, no native wallet support and it only supports a 480x800 screen resolution.
That looks set to change with the arrival of Windows Phone 8, featuring support for up to 64 cores, HD screen resolutions and of course, the same DNA as Windows 8.
Then there's the protection that Microsoft provides with its operating system, shielding manufacturers from most patent lawsuits. Android manufacturers are on their own though, a potentially steep price to pay for a free platform.
What about RIM?
Research in Motion and its fledgling BlackBerry 10 operating system could also be an unlikely beneficiary, a sharp contrast to its current bad fortune.
Sure, the company hasn't had the best of luck lately, but CEO Thorsten Heins confirmed that it is looking at licensing its BlackBerry platform to manufacturers.
The OS is shaping up to be a pretty, intuitive system, being built for touch devices. Then there's the interesting virtual keyboard, allowing you to "fling" word suggestions as you type.
A BlackBerry-powered low- to mid-range handset would no doubt see a measure of success, especially in the developing world, where the BlackBerry Internet Service and BBM dominates.
The developed world is another challenge, and one that many think is lost to the likes of Apple and Google already.
There's always room for the company to license its BIS and BBM cashcows too - arguably the only hooks keeping existing BlackBerry users from jumping ship.
The changing face of mobile
Android's continued success benefits consumers and hardware manufacturers alike, but if it encountered roadblocks along the way, there will no doubt be companies willing to step in.
Still, there's little doubt that Google will push through Apple's legal challenges. After all, if Apple can crib the familiar dropdown bar from Google, why should the Mountain View giant come under fire?