Who cares whether they care? They will care to make it useful on real hardware, and that means improved hardware support.
Actually because of google's size hardware vendors will gradually stop supporting other distros'
As for as I know Linus trade marked the word linux, he did not copyright it. Anyone can claim a trade mark as long as it has not been trade marked before. There is not requirement to prove no one used the word before just that they did not trademark it.
And I am not naive just cynical that RH will continue to be a good guy 5 or 10 years from now
You are aware they aren't patenting things to prevent others from using those concepts or to change a fee to use the process. Instead they are doing it as a defensive measure against the likes of SCOs, M$ and greedy lawyers. They aren't patent trolls, they are protecting themselves and the Linux.
You don't need a patent for that just prior art in the wild
"People don't realize how sensitive we are to touch..."
I think most people realize that we are very sensitive to touch
Elegance and truth are inversely related. -- Becker's Razor