My humble guess is that Steve Jobs would, in fact, not have been thrown ass-first out of Apple had he not.
Apple did this because they wanted to, not because anyone else pressured them into it.
Every other tech company does it; why hold Apple to an exceptional standard?
The OP is not making an ethical or moral critique.
As regards to Apple, he's merely saying "in the long-term" it is bad business as Apple will experience a brain drain, and, there is an implicit shaming aspect (remember those blue boxes Steve? ;) by pointing out past actions of Steve Jobs himself.
Is that really true? Can you cite Google suing to enforce a patent? What about HTC iself?
can you cite a consistent pattern in their past that would argue they would never do so?
(I can cite this: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-03-03/google-wants-u-s...)
How about this?
Why is Google applying for patents? For fun?
HTC was already mentioned in the article: they are young and do not have the patent portfolio to play with the big boys.
Google is young (>10 years), but they have a large portfolio. But you can't find a "pattern that would argue they would never do so"? And that proves that Apple is doing really just the same thing everybody else are? The fact that others really aren't, but you can't find a proof that they never would?
Corporations are artificial entities that are set up with the goal of maximizing shareholder value. The corporations we're talking about exist inside democratic governance and regulatory systems. It seems to me that things would be likely to work best when we all think of corporations as what they are: machines to make a profit, and exercised our powers as voters (and as customers) appropriately.
Now, of course, a particular corporation's behavior may make one more or less likely to want to purchase their products (in other words, their public "persona" is part of their marketing), but to be outraged about legal maneuvers doesn't make much sense to me. Don't buy their products and/or work to change the laws, but let's not be angry at tigers for chasing sweet little antelopes. It's what they do.
I say this as someone who's been outraged before over Microsoft's anti-competitive maneuvers. I think that was probably stupid of me. They were doing just what they should have been doing if that's what they thought would maximize their profitability. Doesn't mean I like their products. But to call them evil was a mistake that I regret.
It's a bit of a different scenario when the antelope is yours.