When there are two juggernauts in a room, they compete with each other's product by copying/matching to gain parity, then making improvements.
Outside of the tech world we can see this with Walmart and Target. Both companies send associates into each others stores to monitor prices to remain competitive with the other. Same with how both companies will allow double coupons (store coupon + manufacturer) and will match all competitors.
Google needs to step up to the plate here and pay the money it'll take to fight the court battle. Sure Google and HTC don't have as many patents, but it doesn't mean that the patents Apple has can't be fought, because they are VERY weak patents.
I'm pretty happy that Microsoft said that basically they will defend legally those who build phones that run their software. But then again Apple won't sue over HTC over windows 7 phone, because if they go after microsoft, they _WILL_ lose. again.