Re: The real loser here
I don't normally respond to cowards - it's not like The Register has a real name policy or anything, so I assume that people only do it because they don't want their response tied to their profile because they know that their response is ill thought out.
But yours is so staggeringly off-base I'll make an exception.
The problem is, most of these patents are so broad or so obvious that people cannot innovate. There cannot be any progression unless it come from Apple; and Apple have no interest in such progression as once you are in their walled-garden, you are ripe for the plucking.
I'll give you one example: rubber bounce. How the shuddering hell is that patentable? Number one, it's software; that should discount it immediately. Number two, it's simply a feedback to the user through the device's response mechanism; in the real-world it might be force-feedback or something. It is not patentable!
But now anyone who tries to do any kind of user feedback that in any way looks even vaguely like rubber-bounce will have the Apple attack-dogs on their arse. This does not help innovation.
Then there's all the swipe to unlock bullcrap. Look at you hands. Look at your friends' hands. They look the same, don't they? So, and I realise this is a crazy idea, you and your friends will find similar actions equally hard/easy. Anyone doing a UI/device design will make actions easy for you and given that all hands are roughly the same, the set of answers it going to be pretty limited so everything is going to look pretty similar. And Apple has been given a patent on it! How the hell can they get a patent on something for which there is only one (or a small number) of answers? The shouldn't be able to.
Oh, and swipe to unlock? I've been doing that on my garden gate for years. It's is a known mechanism and on the phone screen it happens to be easy. Maybe you'd like it if Samsung patented "arc signature" to unlock, where you use one hand and you thumb to describe an arc (moving back and forth to enter your "pin")? Wow! Is that innovation or what? No it bloody well isn't! There's only so many answer with a set number of digits.
Innovation comes, not from brand-new ideas but from incremental steps and it's these stupid patents that stop these incremental steps. After enough steps, then you'll get a genuinely new idea and thus a paradigm shift.
Apple needs to protect it's profits; fine. But society needs to protect itself as well, and granting idiotic patents is not the way to go about it. The PC market only came about after the incumbent's stranglehold had been broken. That's a stranglehold Apple currently holds over smartphones and tablets, and it will hold us back until someone in power grows a pair and fixes the problem.
I'll give you one more example. Who invented the electric lightbulb? Edison?
Wrong. There were already lightbulbs.
What Edison did was figure out how to do it better than everyone else at the time, now imagine one of those inferior bulb-makers held broad enough patents to crush Edison, where would we be now?
Where would we be if other people if other people had not taken Edison's work and improved upon it again?
This is what overly-broad/stupid patents prevent.
This is what you wish to prevent.
Apple have had enough time to make a decent profit from there ideas, they have moved from being the "Edison" to the "shitty bulb maker"; to get a better bulb, society requires that their vice-like grip on innovation be broken. Because when the other players come in, Apple will be forced to up their game. Then the consumer wins.
And it's not just Apple; it's Amazon, Sony, Microsoft etc.