> It seems to me that these trivial-patent-related fights are a proxy for a deeper grievance: Apple feels that Samsung, specifically, ripped off the iPhone. And I agree
That's bloated festering horse poo, IMHO.
Apple doesn't 'Feel' anything. It's publicly traded corporation. It's ran by a group of people who are directly responsible to a board of directors who care nothing about the technology or the market place except specifically how well they are profiting from it. (which isn't naturally a bad thing, but we don't live in a free society so everything is distorted.)
Apple is competing heavily with Samsung and in term of future market share in the smart phone market it's getting it's ass kicked by Android phones. Phones that are cheaper, faster, better designed, and can be created by anybody. HTC, Samsung, or whoever. It doesn't matter. They will use lawsuits against anybody that threatens their bottom line if at all possible. They don't care about the cheapies or hundred dollars phones with razor-thin profit margins... they care about upper end, about expensive high profit areas that Apple has successfully dominated in the PC world.
They have a walled garden they want to protect and they are willing to use any means possible. The patent lawsuit is just a means to a end and their goal is to use the government to damage competition in the market place as much as possible.
Pure and simple.
There isn't anything beyond this. It's all about just making as much as money as possible and preventing competition as much as possible. The people that get hurt the most by this is the consumers.
All this emotionality, this 'grievance', rhetoric is just Apple's marketing at work. They need to convince people that what they are doing is 'friendly' and whatnot. A classic case of Apple's almost inhuman marketing skills having a pervasive impact on public opinion in the tech community.
It's just corporate spin that is parroted by people all over the internet by people who don't want to come to grips with the fact that they are giving their money to a corporation that doesn't hesitate to their money to destroy software freedom and damage markets through government intervention in the name of higher profits.