QUESTION: What good is a patent, when apple has several patents on a phone, yet there are several phone's just like theirs? I'm trying to write provisional patent application. Looking through several patents, don't find anything exactly like what I'm doing, but in some patents I see mention of what I'm doing tho in their drawings it doesn't show. How or why can there be so many of the same things doing the same thing by different people and be protected under patent law.
ANSWER: It's possible that the patent office issues multiple patents for the identical invention. That's because the patent office examiner cannot check for pending patent applications that have not yet published or issued. However, patents for the “same” invention can exist when, for example, the end result is achieved in different ways.