Look up "design patent". It is quite possible and quite common to patent distinguishing design features, though the claims are very limited and fairly small changes can avoid them. If Apple is suing over a design patent, which is what this implies, they must feel they have a reasonable case that distinctive aspects of the design covered by their design patents were outright copied. Otherwise, they wouldn't spend the money on it and also risk offending a partner. My understanding is that Apple doesn't use staff lawyers for litigation, they hire it out, so bored staff lawyers seems unlikely.
This lawsuit has about as much merit as Ford sueing Chevrolet because their vehicles 'look and feel' the same.
Either Jobs is running scared or Apple's staff lawyers are bored ... why else would they even bother with this time waster
Apple isn't the best on technical specifications, but what wows about Apple products is look and feel. Apple sued MS for look and feel for Windows and lost. Xerox sued Apple for L&F and lost. Since Apple commands a premium over also-ran products there must be some market value to Apple's look and feel, but it seems legally it's difficult to quantify and sue for. Samsung is one of Apple's prime suppliers so it's a bit different to have a vendor rip off a customer and may be some violation of confidentiallity.
Steve Jobs of course is the guy who sued his competitor for using "Apps Store" and "confusing" consumers. Please...... how much more dirty and pathetic could he get? Maybe he should just sue all the other smart phone makers while he's at it. They all "look and feel" similar in user interface these days anyway. There is something very wrong with how the high tech industry works these days and Apple is at the forefront of it.
Yes, a few years back Apple would have been flattered by the copy cats and been proud of it's design but off late it has begun to notice that the competitors clones are approaching close to it's feel+look+(performance) so they are ruffled, naturally. Apple always differentiated on software and it appears they don't have anything new and promising in their labs.
But for "look and feel"? Can I sue someone younger than me that kind of looks like me for copying the "look and feel". Does Apple have a patent on the "look and feel"? I am guessing that their lawyers don't have much to do and have decided to justify their salaries. Sigh, their "look and feel" lawsuits against MSFT went nowhere, and neither will this. And for the record, how in the world can anyone claim that a Galaxy S looks like an iPhone? If anything, the S was boxy before the iPhone 4 came out.