Patenting software metaphors, and product styling is worse than a company being able to patent my genome if they should map it. But this is what you should expect when you elect millionaire lawyers to political office.
I can see that Samsung might not be able to get patents on its products, but why could Apple? Apple didn't invent or introduce the touchscreen, the rectangle, the glass panel, or any of the electronics. Dropping, dragging and docking were features of software years before Apple made its first phone or tablet. Put aside the telephone label. The iPhone and iPad are just small computers with wireless capability. Paramont Pictures popularized these concepts in the 1960's and 70's, though they had been around in scifi books for decades. Thus the concepts were already obvious to the entire communications industry, and inevitable once components became small enough before Apple introduced the macintosh.
All it will take to bring down Apple, is someone de-compiling their code and showing that it uses open source code within its software construction, patenting it in violation of the conditions of use.
"35 U.S.C. 103 Conditions for patentability; non-obvious subject matter.
(a) A patent may not be obtained though the invention is not identically disclosed or described as set forth in section 102 of this title, if the differences between the subject matter sought to be patented and the prior art are such that the subject matter as a whole would have been obvious at the time the invention was made to a person having ordinary skill in the art to which said subject matter pertains. Patentability shall not be negatived by the manner in which the invention was made."
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