Apple and all the other big players will continue to get away with stealing innovations and claiming them as their own thanks to the recent changes made to the US patent law.
With the America Invents Act of 2011, which was signed by President Obama on September 16, 2011 The law will switch U.S. right to the patent from the present "first-to-invent" system to a "first-to-file" system for patent applications filed on or after March 16, 2013  Many legal scholars have commented that such a change would require a constitutional amendment. Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the US Constitution gives Congress the power to “promote the Progress of ... useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to ... Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective ... Discoveries.” These scholars argue that this clause specifically prohibits a first-to-file system because the term "inventor" refers to a person who has created something that has not existed before.
Under the first-to-invent system, when two people claim the same invention, the USPTO would institute an interference proceeding between them to review evidence of conception, reduction to practice and diligence.
What this effectively does is remove the argument of "prior art" from the formula. As long as you have a large enough staff - and deep enough pockets for the filing fees - you can flood the patent examiners' desks and thereby guarantee that nothing rational will emerge from the USPTO ever again.
Once this is in place after mid-March 2013, the parties with the most money can jam the entire system indefinitely. Especially since the legal argument over who actually invented something
just got thrown out the window.
So now the new mantra will be: File Early - File Often.
About the only hope for this will be if some US judge takes a cue from the South Korean judge and determines that all
smartphone companies and their products are infringing on the patents of one or more of all
the others - and therefore bans the sales of all
smartphones in the USA. And said ban will continue in effect until such time as the companies finally get together and work out a cross-licensing plan they can all agree to.
"Let the child be divided." (3000 years later - King Solomon still
But that would probably be making what the real problem is too obvious for comfort. So i guess I won't hold my breath waiting. And truth is, Apple would rather see the entire world go down in flames than concede a single inch.