Apple is an enormous company. They sell many things. They have a lot invested into phones. Company A brings out a phone copying some feature. I guess we better not let them file allegations because they're Apple and screw them I hate them.
This is a knife. It has a spring assisted opening mechanism. That mechanism is patented. Copy the mechanism and sell a knife in the same price range with similar features. You can expect an angry letter from SOG asking you to cease production. I bet you'd say that's fair. Let's apply this to your arguments against Apple.
"There are only so many ways you can design a phone to look"
Interesting. Here I have this knife, it has one function, to cut things. There are numerous patents just for this knife, let alone the one displayed on the blade. I see no complaint over this company having these patents. If we apply the "there are only so many ways argument" then one must assume because of the lack of outcry, there are very many ways to design a knife. Last time I checked, a knife is significantly less complicated than a smartphone. If Kershaw, or Benchmade, or Cold Steel, or any number of companies can find a way to design a knife that doesn't infringe on numerous other companies patents on a KNIFE, I'm sure tech giants that hold significantly more market share than a blade company can find a way.
"Apple doesn't innovate, they just steal ideas!"
I hear and read this in every single thread about Apple. 90% of the time it is accompanied either by the Samsung F700 picture (proven fake), or no proof at all. 10% mention something ALMOST relevant (i.e. drop down notifications). Regardless of however many infrigements you believe there are, that does not invalidate the original claim, it simple presents a chance to counter-sue, or to open a new case.
Let's say X store was robbed, but the owner was found to be guilty of assault. That doesn't mean that the robbery never happened and that you can't prosecute the person who robbed the store. They may SEEM related, but they aren't connected in a significant way.
Trust me, people spend MUCH more time than you do going over these cases on both sides of the table. If HTC had a viable thing to file against Apple, you can bet they would've done it. Apple is not a stupid company, they did not get to where they are by being ignorant and flippant. There is a legitimate reason that they have filed these complaints and suits. No company in their right mind would file a lawsuit they didn't believe they had a good chance to win, that's corporate suicide.
"I hate Apple, they suck!"
Attacking them does nothing to invalidate their actions.
You may have legitimate reasons to dislike Apple's actions, maybe you don't like the customer base they market to (definitely not the people that populate this site), or just dislike the OS for personal reasons. Chances are 80% of the people in this thread have no legitimate backing for their dislike of a company. Regardless of what you think is right, there is a justice system in this country that think you're wrong, and until you can propose a new system that is better than the one we have now you have no reason to discredit them in specific cases because it weakens the system. Invalidating a claim like this can set a dangerous precedent for future patent disputes. Patent law is sticky, people go to college just to learn about it. But, this cuts both ways. Approving this case can have similarly disastrous consequences. But in this situation, I believe backpedaling on the ITC's decision sets a much more disastrous precedent than approving it does. Apple is not going to drop the suit (the only viable third option) because this perceived theft threatens their business.
This country was one based around rich people getting richer, corporate security, and the freedom to make obscene amounts of money, and until you can take their money away they will rule this land, no matter how much you don't like it.