Today, the Wired website is running an article by Manny Schecter, the Chief Patent Counsel at IBM: With All Due Respect: The Patent System’s Not Broken.
It's an odd article; I encourage you to read it for yourself. It's full of strange arguments such as:
The success of the U.S. software industry correlates with its use of software patents to protect its innovations. If patent litigation caused by the U.S. patent system stifled innovation, U.S. software companies would not be the most successful in the world.
I suspect that Wired has, queued up, an article by the Chief Earth Scientist at Exxon: With All Due Respect: The Use of Hydrocarbon Fuel's Not Harming the Earth's Environment; that article will probably include arguments such as: If the use of hydrocarbon fuels were harming the Earth's environment, U.S. energy companies would not be the most successful in the world.
Meanwhile, Apple has, indeed, successfully patented the rectangle.