@JohnAskew: Ideas are not worth protecting. We have billions and billions of ideas each day, it's not like they are a scarce commodity.
And in the end it's not Samsung or Apple that has to fork over the bill, it's us.
I'm sure we've been through this before but - not all ideas are equal.
Some are obvious, these deserve no protection
Some are obvious next steps, these also deserve no protection
Some involve design (in a non-engineering sense), for these we have copyright
Some ideas take decades to develop, these deserve protection
Some idea take billions of pounds to develop, these deserve protection
Because if they weren't protected nobody would develop them. There would be no new computer chips, no new drugs, no new materials etc... It's not really the ideas you're protecting, but the substantial investment of time, money, resources, people, etc. used to bring them to fruition you're protecting.
Yes, in some cases, the patent system is abused. There are patent trolls. There are those who use patents to try and crush competition. Patents are granted that clearly shouldn't be valid.
Yes, the patent system needs (urgent and substantial) reform.
But, NO, the concept of a patent is not bad. It's not fundamentally broken. We need them.