Now I perfectly understand how US patent system works.
Just read the news that Apple is awarded a new patent. It is for a system that allows users to use other applications on a device as they are making a call. For example, you are on a call and you want to quickly look up something in your calendar. Or you want to find out a place on the map. Or you want to look at a website. Apple got the idea patented. This means no other operating system or device manufacturer can make a device which will allow you to look up something on your phone while you are on a call.
I use an Android Phone. I don't know who invented this feature. But I know that I can access other applications on my device while I am making a call. I just need to minimize the call window and it will rest in the notification tray while I am accessing the application I want.
Even I can remember my old symbian phone used to allow me do this. Symbian has its limitations. So you could only access a few applications like contact list or calendar while you were on a call. And I had symbian phones long ago, even before Apple came up with their first phone.
I am trying to figure out who invented this feature. I am sure it is not Apple. But now they are telling us that Apple is awarded the patent for this particular feature. And that shows you exactly how the patent system in US works. You don't have to invent anything to get a patent. All that you need to do is ask first. Ask and it shall be given to you. Make sure that you ask first.
That is as dumb as a patent system can get.