that article is getting a bit of flak around the internet for being sensationalist, badly written and containing little information.
I think the important point that needs to be understood is the difference between an essential and non-essential patent. here's a decent explanation of the difference I grabbed from reddit user nana_nanananananana.
If Google sues using essential patents then even if they win, the court can force them to license the patent to Apple for a fair value. Google gets money, but that's it. This keeps patents from destroying entire industries, at least in theory (in reality, they still destroy smaller industries with regularity).
If Google sues using non-essential patents then the court cannot force Google to license the patents. Instead, Apple may have to pull infringing products from its stores, which is far more damaging.
and here's a forbes article on the topic that might be a little more informative. http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall ... ues-apple/
edit: something else that I found to be an interesting analogy.
http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2012/08/25/apple_v_samsung_verdict_creates_new_pinch_to_zoon_monopoly_that_s_bad_for_consumers.html wrote:Think about cars and you'll see that, of course, lots of different companies make cars. But they all have some very similar user interface elements. In particular, there's a steering wheel that you turn left and right to shift the wheels and there's a gas pedal and breaks that you hit with your right foot. Imagine if the way the automobile industry worked was that each car maker had to devise a unique user interface. So maybe GM cars would have a steering wheel, but Toyotas would have a joystick, and Honda you would steer with your feel and use your hands to control the gas and breaks.
In some sense there'd be "more innovation" in this world since there'd be this kind of arbitrary proliferation of user interfaces. But in a more important sense there'd be less competition, since there are only so many viable ways for a person to interact with a car and a lot of those ways suck.
my only problem is that I don't believe Apple is stopping people from using pinch-and-zoom, just asking for money every time someone uses it. but the issues here are similar.