The thing is that that $40B in the bank did not beling to Steve, and was not his to spend. It is collectively owned by the shareholders.
It was all very good for him to throw his toys out of his pram and promise to spend all of the money in laywer pissing contests, but I doubt the shareholders would have let him. People just have to look at what happens when you decide to transform your entire business into a lawsuit like the SCO Group. Regardless of any merits of the case, if they spent all their money on fighting, they would just get left behind as everyone else carried on moving forward.
As for this statement: "Do you not value the protection of invention, when you see it? You should; otherwise, there would be none." I fail to see how this stands up to any test. <sarcasm> Obviously, without patent law, nobody invented the wheel or levers and pullys. We still all live in caves and just hope to catch something to eat before we starve. </sarcasm>