Copyright laws only give the originator a delayed lead over others.
Just like how Apple is suing HTC, one could argue that HTC is copying them but why isn't Apple going after other manufacturers? It's only because Apple has officially recognized as Android OS being equal or better and HTC also being equal or better. In fact because of HTC, Apple is now copying them. Which means that Apple Iphone is officially now not much different from any other touch screen mobile device.