From a discussion on Google Buzz:
I don’t know the details, but from looking at the patent pictures, it looks like the patents are of implementation rather than idea. They couldn’t sue, for instance, if another company had an interface where you slid your finger across the screen to accept a call. But they CAN sue if the box that pops up to notify about the call is very similar, and the slider is in the same place, and is the same width, etc.
I’m pretty anti-patent in the vast majority of cases, but I wanted to offer an opposing viewpoint: Apple puts a TON of R&D into UX, particular when it comes to things like distance and resistance, so I can understand their being upset when they develop a product/implementation based on that research, patent the implementation, and then a company copies the implementation wholesale.
Apple is pretty anti-competition, and they’re pissed that Google and HTC are getting so chummy, so I don’t doubt that the legitimacy of the suit is questionable. But just looking at the pictures, I don’t think it’s quite so black and white yet.