@Dr Trevor Marshall
Apple doesn't invent the laws it has to work with.
If you don't like the way IP laws are working today, the onus is on YOU, *the people*, to get off your apathetic arses and demand that they be changed. It is not Apple's job to do this.
Furthermore, this has f*ck all to do with IBM-compatible PCs. Compaq created a "clean-room" implementation of the old PC BIOS (look it up; it's not as simple as it sounds, and it was a massive risk). This avenue is, however, utterly irrelevant as Apple has NEVER relied on the old IBM-compatible BIOS still commonly found in Windows and Linux boxes. Even its Intel-based Macs use Intel's own (arguably superior) BIOS replacement.
"Do we see here that Apple is claiming that all subsequent similarly functioning pieces of hardware have to use different chips?"
Whoosh! And THERE goes the point RIGHT OVER Trevor's head!
Read the bloody article and its sources, before commenting upon that which you clearly no sod all about. This is about IP infringement. Making a tablet is one thing. Making a tablet that copies Apple's own work *right down to the packaging* is quite another.
If Samsung are found guilty—and this is not guaranteed—they will deserve everything they get. They're a big, grown-up, multinational corporation. They know what they were doing, and clearly hoped they'd get away with it. They got caught.
If it had been Microsoft, Oracle, or anyone else, instead of Apple, I'd still be supporting them. Apple did all the heavy lifting for their iDevices: they created a brand new platform with their iPad. They reinvented the smartphone, yanking the rug from under all their competitors who sneered that Apple would never succeed.
But the moment Apple (finally!) get some decent traction, the entire planet suddenly turns on them as if they'd made some kind of social faux pas by having the mere temerity to actually turn a decent profit! What the _hell_, people?
This is a wake-up call to the industry: do your own damned R&D, instead of sitting on your arses waiting for Google to do it for you. If you *truly* wanted Apple to fall, you have to beat them at their own game. Merely copying their products with "me-too!" tat isn't going to cut it.
Don't go crying "Wee! Wee! Wee!" all the way home to the nearest blogger or pundit when Apple catch you copying their exam answers and you get seriously slapped down for it.
Fucking well INNOVATE, damn it! Give Apple a run for their money! Some *serious* competition! Give us punters something genuinely amazing, instead of this tired, uninspiring copycat rubbish.
Motorola: now there's a company that's got the hang of designing some cool-looking hardware. Want an iPad with a keyboard? Moto's got you covered. (Hello? Samsung? Learn, please.) Now if only they could get a grip on their software too.