The patent office will never be fast enough or thorough enough and will continue to award bad patents for obvious things that will be used as legal weapons to stifle competiton.
I agree generally. However, how does patent stifle competition? Patents cannot be used to stop anyone else using the patent item. It provides a reward for innovation, provides recovery of R+D that the others do not have. Had Samsung licenced the patents in the case, they can use the functions, so innovation does go through the industry. Otherwise, be cheaper to wait for others to innovate and use that. Now, if Samsung innovates something great, or good, they will patent it. Same thing applies.
Interested to hear your thoughts, interesting topic.