Who would have ever guessed that we would learn about the development of an innovative technology through court proceedings and biographies? It is fascinating the variety of ways in which secret project details eventually become public.
I am not a fan of both Apple and Samsung, but I think the problems do not stemmed from these companies. I think it is the patent law that needs a thorough reform. (I believe Apple is also a victim as they lost a lawsuit to Creative's "ZEN" patent because of the user interface of the iPod)
As an engineer, I found it surprising that in the US, the judges do not have engineering technical background for these patent lawsuits. And even more surprisingly (from my patent class I took few years ago) is that the jury CANNOT have technical background because one jury may have larger influence over the rest juries if one have a stronger technical background than the others.
I think patent is still extremely important to protect the IPs and innovations. But I think a jury comprised of technical people in the field is more appropriate, so that these lawsuits will not be focusing on the shape of the devices but rather than the "real" infringement of innovations.