Apple didn't originate that scheme, and this Chinese manufacturer won't be the last to use it, either. It happens quite frequently, I'm afraid. Small innovator comes up with great idea, but can't afford to patent it (can take several million in US patent process, and only gives you the right to sue) then along comes Mr. Deep-pockets-Sleazeball who copies it, patents it, and forces the originator to shut down with court papers because he can't afford to fight it. Also happens with bullshit software patents.
Yes, the US patent system is broken, on purpose.
Let them thrash around, and waste their resources in-effectively trying to hold back the sea. Their paid trolls, shills, and lawmakers will all try to stem the tide. To no good. There is no fighting an idea that's time has come.
What they'll find, is that having spent their resources fighting against it, they have little left to join it when they no longer have a choice. By fighting the future, instead of embracing, guiding, and becoming leaders of it, they effectively are destroying any profitable future they may have.
"Ownership of ideas"? I believe the RIAA/MPAA might disagree with you, there. They have literally spent MILLIONS of dollars in bribes to politicians in the USA and elsewhere to have laws and trade agreements created that DO give them ownership of ideas.
SOPA/PIPA and ACTA is twisting copyright into EXACTLY what you're against.
This is part of the reason the few remaining middle class, and most all the upper class, wonder why the rest of us hate them so much. They seem to think that people are poor, because they are stupid and/or lazy, when often it's because they lost everything they worked their whole life for to circumstances beyond their control.
I suppose I could be rich, if I used their morals. I'd just kidnap a bus-load of rich kids, and throw their decapitated heads out a window until I got what I wanted. It's "free market economics" in all it's brutal glory. I'd have something they want, and they'd have to trade with me to get it. If I'm sufficiently ruthless, and have a good enough plan, I'll get away with it. Thus proving that I'd be "worthy" of being one of them.
Gads. Just thinking like that makes me feel dirty, like a lawyer for the IRS.