In the case of Apple vs Samsung the dirty laundry is hung out for public viewing. It turns out that Microsoft and Apple have a cross licensing deal from 1997 that also covers the Apple design.
So if Microsoft's tablets are going to look like Apples; there will be no legal actions.
Also it turns out that Samsung has been able to demonstrate the Apple patents with older Hardware that existed and was demonstrated to Apple, from before the patents.
Apple did offer Samsung a cross license of 30 to 40 $ per unit. As we know; Samsung did not accept.
So now Samsung is demonstrating that Apple did not invent what they are sued for:
Professor Benjamin Bederson at the University of Maryland has proven that the zooming on Mobile phones did not come with the iPhone, as Apple claims.
In fact this was demonstrated with the application LaunchTile that was made available for Microsofts PocketPC units as early as in 2004!
Also early table top computers were demonstrated and as it turns out shown to Apple!
If this should hold water not only Apple, but also the Patent bureau will look stupid....