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Apple as a single company is growing the fastest of the lot. But they can't compete against a whole industry for market share.
That said, patents exist exactly to protect invention IP. The real question is whether they should apply to software - and the real answer to that is easy. Software is written, often iteratively, not invented. It already gets copyright protection (and a kind of defacto trade secret protection too), which is more than adequate. It doesn't also need patent protection.