Apple got a victory today in a patent court over HTC. Its about tapping a phone number in an email or any content (e.g. web page may have a contact number of a vendor) to call or add in contact number. From HTC it is a small UI fix. However, removing such feature would pose an usability issue to HTC and indirectly to Android.
Here is the ruling: http://www.usitc.gov/secretary/fed_reg_notices/337/337_710_Notice12192011sgl.pdf
It seems that Apple has many such patents which when pressed against Android can create a competitive barrier.
This year has been interesting from patents point of view. Apple and Microsoft ganged up to by Nortells patent portfolio at billions. Then, the corneded Google bought Motorolla mobility especially for the patents. On other wise, there is a patent war going between Samsung and Apple of Samsung Galaxy.