I think a number of important facts are being ignored by many in these forums.
One reason that Samsung is willing to fight it out with Apple may indeed arise from the exceptionally strong patent portfolio and R&D activities that Samsung has been maintaining for many years. If you take the number of utility (!!) Patent applications in the US in 2011 as a measure of innovative strength in the technology sector it paints quite a different picture to that of which many here are trying to convince themselves. Reality distortion loses against facts every time.
It will probably surprise you to learn that Samsung has been nr 2 in the US in terms of the number of patent applications per year for the last 6 years, second only to IBM which has been nr 1 for 19 !! Years. Have any of you noticed that companies don't tend to try patent attacks on IBM because IBM is famous for its portfolio strength and its aggressiveness in defending its patents.
So far from being an imitator, samsung can probably be described as a major innovator (using the patent stats as a measure.).
By comparison, Apple with its 670 odd patents, nr 39 in the top 50 list, is a minor innovator.
Given the rapid pace of development, it would not surprise me to find that samsung is confident that it can beat apple on all levels. It certainly would have the staying power to fight this out. Apple is also far more vulnerable to injunctions and possible losses in litigation. If, for example Apple should win in the last instance against Samsung in the current litigation and succeed to get the S3 blocked from the US market, it would not be a disaster to Samsung.
On the other hand, if Apple lost and the iPhone 5 got blocked, its curtains for apple (Think stock value).
Considering the stakes, even if Apple should succeed to sustain, for example, the 1 Billion Judgement against Samsung ... .that's pocket money. And it may be prudent to remember, the Appeals process has not even started. Its going to be years before the check gets written (if ever), and it may well be substantially less than the $1 Billion that Apple is celebrating at the moment. Remember .... the show's not over till the fat lady sings.
Intelligent people would be more reserved and much more cautious before declaring a winner in this war. The odds would seem to favour Samsung in the long haul. Apple hasn't a snowball's chance in hell of matching the R&D output from Samsung. Despite what many may WANT to believe, Apple has been WEAK in R&D in comparison to much of the competition.
Currently Apple is relatively strong in the US, but really ONLY in the US.
And finally, Samsung is not the only contender that Apple needs to watch. The Mainland chinese HUAWEI and a couple of others are also a force to be reckoned with. They have a home-market advantage in China that Apple has no hope of matching (politics will see to that, but the level of innovation alone may be sufficient.)
Like the dot.com Bubble ... Apple may burst. Its a high stakes world and it isn't really too smart to declare war on an opposition that understands warfare better than the initiator does, and has staying power.
Makes for good entertainment :-)