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Many years ago (and for a relatively short time) I was a Patent Examiner in Australia. From my recollection shapes WERE NOT patentable. Australia has/had a designs Office to register particular designs but even there I don't believe you could register an oblong, not even one with a concentric internal oblong - representing the shape of an iPhone/iPad/what ever else.
I think that government down-sizing in all/most jurisdictions has forced Patent Offices to reduce staff levels to the point where now they can no longer do a thorough examination so they grant a patent application and let holders of "prior art" (similar previously granted patents) sue the new patent holder. In my day this was to be avoided.
Basically the article here is very good but alas I feel without more pressure on governments nothing will happen. Legislators need to be squeezed where it hurts, then they will respond.