"Firms like Oracle and Texas Instruments chose to settle with Eolas, rather than risk a big payout in court, and must be feeling a tad silly right now"
I doubt it - large organisations are very risk averse. They obviously did the maths and decided that the cost of the pay-off was better value for them than the risk associated with paying it. It's especially likely when they factor in their legal costs and the likelihood of getting them back even if they did win.
It's similar to taking out insurance and not having to claim on it. Yeah, you now know you would have been better off not taking out insurance as nothing bad happened, but you didn't know that then, and you didn't fancy the risk of not having insurance if something bad did happen.
That's the one reason we don't have time machines yet - the insurance companies...
PS - sensible result. +1 for the jury.