Apple, Samsung, And The Circus

Apple took the GUI from Xerox - we all know that - and later sued Microsoft for doing the GUI. Apple stole the iPhone from Sony and is suing Samsung for doing what?

Who Cares If Samsung Copied Apple?
If you go back to the mid-1990s, there was their famous "look and feel" lawsuit against Microsoft. Apple's case there was eerily similar to the one they're running today: "we innovated in creating the graphical user interface; Microsoft copied us; if our competitors simply copy us, it's impossible for us to keep innovating." Apple ended up losing the case. ..... Apple didn't stop innovating at all. Instead: they came out with the iMac. Then OS X ("Redmond, start your photocopiers"). Then the iPod. Then the iPhone. And now, most recently, the iPad. Given the underlying reason that Apple has been bringing these cases to court was to enable them to continue to innovate, it's hard not to ask: if copying stops innovation, why didn't Apple stop innovating last time they were copied? Being copied didn't stop or slow their ability to innovate at all. If anything, it only seemed to accelerate it. Apple wasn't able to rest on its laurels; to return to profitability, and to take the mantle they hold today of one of the technology industry's largest companies, they had to innovate as fast as they could. ..... "Great innovations often build on existing ones — and that requires the freedom to copy." Which even seems to be true at Apple — see this email from Apple exec Eddy Cue, advocating a change to Apple's lineup of tablet products... as a result of him trying out a product that Samsung had released on to the market. ..... Too often, it seems that companies fall back on the broken patent system when they can't compete in the marketplace. ..... All these lawsuits flying around suggest that everyone is already copying each other, anyway. A better solution? Let's have these companies solely focused on duking it out in the marketplace — where consumers, not courtrooms, make the decisions about innovation.
In Apple’s Patent Case, Tech Shifts May Follow
Apple is seeking $2.5 billion in damages from Samsung, while Samsung has asked for $422 million in a countersuit against Apple....... Apple wants an order permanently barring Samsung, the largest maker of Android smartphones, from selling products in the United States that violate its patents. A legal victory against Samsung could give Apple extra ammunition in lawsuits it has filed against other Android makers. ...... Google’s operating system powered 64.1 percent of the smartphones shipped worldwide during the second quarter this year.... The iPhone’s share was 18.8 percent. ....... The iPhone set off a “crisis of design” at Samsung ...... the difference in the experience of using the iPhone and Samsung phones was akin to “that of Heaven and Earth.” ...... many of Apple’s patents were invalid because of earlier technologies that either looked or operated similarly to Apple’s products. ...... For now, the only clear victors are the large squads of lawyers who have been busy on the case. ...... On Thursday, she told Bill Lee, one of Apple’s lawyers, that he must be “smoking crack” if he thought Apple could call all the witnesses it wanted to in the remaining hours of the trial.
Apple-Samsung Trial: The Jurors’ Final Exam