I usually find the iBuds to be a shame. For $30 dollars they can't even compete with the average $10 Sony buds on the shelves, let alone a Sennheiser MX580. Who knows, maybe after 3 years of research they finally designed a modern e484/e888. That would be amazing, but is highly unlikely
I find posts like this to be fishy. I honestly doubt you've used an apple product for more than an hour. Yet, you insinuate that apple users are essentially sheep. iBuds were never meant to be audiophile products but, as Tyll said in his review, a decent option that people can use as soon as they unbox their new phones.
As for the ongoing patent wars, what's the sense in patenting something if you can't defend it? Microsoft is eating a good percentage of every android phone sold, yet there is no public outcry.