Today it's Apple filing a lawsuit against HTC, alleging that HTC infringing some of their patents – tomorrow it's Facebook who will file a lawsuit against the new kid in the block that will dare to implement newsfeeds. Patents on such things should be prohibited, they counteract innovation and competition. While HTC could afford buying rights from Apple for these patents (in case Apple would be willing to sell rights), I don't think the same is true for some bootstrapped social network that would like to compete against Facebook.
Patents make sense for industries were by just copying some process you can compete with the patent inventor on the same level. It was meant to protect the inventors investment. But this no longer applies to products such as the iPhone or Facebook (or their features). They aren't selling us some features, they're selling a user experience. And this no one can copy from them, and even if someone does – they should just innovate and become better and not file lawsuits.
At least that is what I think.