Our patent laws provide inventors some rights for their innovations and hardwork, for 21 years from the date of filings .So actual protection time is generally less than 21 years.
I believe Apple deserves FULL PROTECTION--like we do for Drugs or other medical devices.
SAMSUNG,NOKIA and others must be forbidden to copy APPLE products.
If courts are tough in enforcing Intellectual Property rights,then Apple would sell above S&P 500 P/E ratio and be priced above 800$/share.
So the Judge's decision is critical.
FYI, Intellectual Prpoerty Rights-PATENTS are the only area where US maintains a big lead compared to other countries.
As far labor costs or labor laws,China,India,Thailand etc.have comparative advantage. Look at your Flat LCD TV's-- they are all made in South Korea,Taiwan and China.
Even Pfizer which held patents for Lipitor-had trouble--fighting co.that were making copies of Lipitor.
The biggest complaint of Microsoft and others has been on LACK of Intellectual Rights protection in China.
The penalties for stealing patents in China is 6000$. Will that stop companies stealing Apple Patents?
In the area of Capsule Endoscopy,there are 2 big co. ( Given Imaging and Olympics) infringing on the patents of small co.
2 inventors fought for 9 years against Research In Motion as Blackberry was violating 11 patents. One of the patent holder died ,but another co. came to their assistance and helped the inventor sue RIMM. Finally the Judge fined RIMM over 500mil.$ and finally the inventor got his payments.
Lawsuit for infringement cost lot of money which are no problem for big co.,but small inventors have to pay 35% fees to Law firms to fight their case on Contingency basis as happened against RIMM.
If USA wants to maintain superiority in Growth,it must help INVENTORS like Apple and others.
Disclosure: I am long AAPL.