I sympathize with your confusion, but copyrights (works), patents (inventions), and trademarks (logos and names) are conceptually and legally separate. A patent might expire in something like 20 years, but a copyright might be relevant after 100!
Some patents (like this one!) appear to totally stifle innovation. It can help a bit to keep in mind when you hear about a crazy patent, that the strategy at the patent office is to let people "stake their claim" pretty freely. This helps separate decisions about who filed first (the domain of patent clerks) from all but the most trivial decisions about the worthiness of what was filed (the domain of a judge).
Think of filing a patent as reserving the right to make a challenge in court by publicly announcing your work in a formal legal registry. No patent? Not much chance for legal action later. Patent? Good chance to take legal action later, but no indication of whether the patent will be upheld.
So the real issue is whether indefensible patents (like a wedge-shaped notebook!) will be recognized by competitors as meaningless or whether it will scare them off. So far, it seems to me, the good patents on truly innovative inventions are being upheld and the crackpot patents aren't really scaring anyone. There are good counter-examples available and I'm always interested in hearing them to understand more.