@rick.merritt: That is a lame reason to dismiss an item. If one applies this in another country, say... China then we (USA) would whine to the wind and be dismissed as usual when China laughs and ignores us.
Design patents are not only cheap but they also issue quickly so you have the protection in place before you're too far into the product launch. Perhaps a simple standard to apply would be if a photograph of your distinctive device with your competitor's name on it would make you see red, it is time to consider filing a design patent.
In this specific case, there was prior art for at least the rectangular design. It was not subjective like the efidence on scrolling, physical evidence was produced, which the jury chose to ignore. Laws and systems can help if we humans show some common sense to begin with.
@rwik78: The problem is the profit that can be made by legal action and the obstruction that can be created when disallowing use/licensing.
Reduce the terms/condition/duration of exclusivity and eliminate obstructive use of patents and I support it too.
Currently the patent system is preventing progress. Fix the above problems and it might have a real value to society and maybe even support progress.
Of course reducing the number of patent-based legal actions will also benefit everyone by freeing those resources for constructive purposes.
I think that most of us are in agreement that this patent the obvious stuff has got to stop. But I would agree with Rick: under the rules of the game as they exist now, the smart thing to do is patent as much as you can. The sad thing is that this system favors the big companies like Apple with teams of lawyers over of small companies and individual inventors.
Replay available now: A handful of emerging network technologies are competing to be the preferred wide-area connection for the Internet of Things. All claim lower costs and power use than cellular but none have wide deployment yet. Listen in as proponents of leading contenders make their case to be the metro or national IoT network of the future. Rick Merritt, EE Times Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, moderators this discussion. Join in and ask his guests questions.