As someone who was using macs even when there was a death watch on the entire company 1997-1999'ish I find all this wringing over patent fights to be silly. For better or worse, it's what companies do in this day and age. It's also hard for me to imagine that Steve Jobs is going to let someone do what Bill Gates did with windows in the mid 1980's (e.g., steal Apple's dominant market position by basically copying Apple's stuff and then selling it for a lower price) again without a fight.
Xerox made a business decision and was paid by Apple. Now, we can debate if Xerox's management made the correct call, but you can't say Apple "ripped them off". It is interesting comparing the situation with Microsoft since most of the problem came from badly written (from Apple's perspective) contracts.
Yeah, everybody knows that Apple invented PCs, OSes, GUI interfaces, word processors and everything else. Microsoft would've never succeeded without copying stuff ... contrary to other people's beliefs, the backing of IBM didn't help one bit.