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Samsung Cites Sci-Fi Movies, TV in Apple Tablet Defence

By - Source: FOSS Patents | B 40 comments

Samsung claims that Stanley Kubrick introduced the first tablet design in 2001: A Space Odyssey which could legally be considered as "prior art."

Here's a comical topic for sci-fi fans at the next convention (pick one): Samsung claims that film director Stanley Kubrick actually designed the first tablet in his (awesome) 1968 film, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

As seen in the YouTube clip below, astronauts Dave Bowman and Frank Poole watch video on a rectangular tablet while enjoying a meal. Samsung is using this example in its patent infringement battle with Apple regarding the iPad 2's design and the alleged patent-infringing device, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet. Because of this clip, Samsung insists that Apple's patent is null and void because Kubrick designed the tablet first, and that Kubrick's creation falls within the "prior art" defense.

"Attached hereto as Exhibit D is a true and correct copy of a still image taken from Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey," reads Samsung's oppositional brief filed Monday night. "In a clip from that film lasting about one minute, two astronauts are eating and at the same time using personal tablet computers. As with the design claimed by the D'889 Patent, the tablet disclosed in the clip has an overall rectangular shape with a dominant display screen, narrow borders, a predominately flat front surface, a flat back surface (which is evident because the tablets are lying flat on the table's surface), and a thin form factor."

It's true: the movie prop may not have the ability to surf the Internet or play Angry Birds, but it's nearly identical to the iPad and subsequent copycat tablets, and even sports the ability to play video. If anything, it appears as if Steve Jobs may have been half-asleep one night while Kubrick's movie was playing on the TV, and he jumped up out of his chair shouting Eureka! as a sudden idea of a thin, rectangular video-playing device floated behind his dollar-sign eyes.

This is where "prior art" comes into play. In patent law, this refers to all information made available publicly in any form before a given date that might be relevant to a patent's claims of originality. Hence, if any invention can be described in prior art, its patent on that invention is invalid. Samsung is hoping that Kubrick's tablet design in 2001: A space Odyssey will fall into this category.

But if not, the company could always fall back on the tablets used by numerous Starfleet officers during the Next Generation era. Say Mr. Stewart, is that an iPad you're holding? No, of course not. How silly of us to think that.

2001: A Space Odyssey

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Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    bustapr , August 24, 2011 11:15 PM
    they have a damn clear point. Apple didnt invent the idea. I hope apple sues less now with a new CEO, Im tired of all this crap.
  • 22 Hide
    back_by_demand , August 24, 2011 11:21 PM
    Steve Jobs, now you have resigned, do the honourable thing and drop these stupid suits.
    You cannot claim to own the shape from something depicted 43 years ago.

    Try to reclaim some dignity by becoming a philanthropist, actually don't...

    I don't trust you not to try and patent being charitable and sue other charities, ass hat
  • 17 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , August 24, 2011 11:30 PM
    Interesting situation. In 1968 it was just a movie prop in a science fiction film. The prop continued to be used in films and television programs. It took over 40 years but the prop became a reality. Unfortunately the Apple version is not up to Starfleet standards. LOL!
Other Comments
    Display all 40 comments.
  • 24 Hide
    bustapr , August 24, 2011 11:15 PM
    they have a damn clear point. Apple didnt invent the idea. I hope apple sues less now with a new CEO, Im tired of all this crap.
  • 22 Hide
    back_by_demand , August 24, 2011 11:21 PM
    Steve Jobs, now you have resigned, do the honourable thing and drop these stupid suits.
    You cannot claim to own the shape from something depicted 43 years ago.

    Try to reclaim some dignity by becoming a philanthropist, actually don't...

    I don't trust you not to try and patent being charitable and sue other charities, ass hat
  • 15 Hide
    ram1009 , August 24, 2011 11:26 PM
    I hope Samsung shoves their iPAD up their iA$$.
  • 17 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , August 24, 2011 11:30 PM
    Interesting situation. In 1968 it was just a movie prop in a science fiction film. The prop continued to be used in films and television programs. It took over 40 years but the prop became a reality. Unfortunately the Apple version is not up to Starfleet standards. LOL!
  • 14 Hide
    alidan , August 24, 2011 11:31 PM
    i love this.
    please tell me that apple gets pattents stripped one by one due to sci fi tv shows, movies, and books, all of which describe apples "innovations" and pattens.
  • 3 Hide
    drwho1 , August 24, 2011 11:32 PM
    Now I know which movie I'm going to watch tonight...
  • 3 Hide
    drwho1 , August 24, 2011 11:35 PM
    JohnnyLuckyInteresting situation. In 1968 it was just a movie prop in a science fiction film. The prop continued to be used in films and television programs. It took over 40 years but the prop became a reality. Unfortunately the Apple version is not up to Starfleet standards. LOL!


    True this reminds of Jules Verne he "saw" things over a 100 years before they became a reality.
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , August 24, 2011 11:37 PM
    Arthur C Clarke is credited as the inventor of the artificial communications satellite, so he should also be credited with the invention of the pad/tablet.
  • 6 Hide
    PhilFrisbie , August 24, 2011 11:58 PM
    EddieroolzSeriously? This is the best Samsung can come up with? So what now, those that invent a time machine in the future won't be able to claim a patent because Sci-Fi movies from the 70's showed a time machine?Stupid.

    Only if that time machine has a large spinning wheel, a lever to go forwards and backwards, and a mechanical readout for the day/month/year ;) 
  • 1 Hide
    back_by_demand , August 25, 2011 12:02 AM
    EddieroolzSeriously? This is the best Samsung can come up with? So what now, those that invent a time machine in the future won't be able to claim a patent because Sci-Fi movies from the 70's showed a time machine?Stupid.

    The Apple lawsuit all about the look and feel not it's operational status.
    Also.
    If you had a time machine you would go back in time an 'invent' everything
    Velcro? Mine
    Microwave ovens? Mine
    WD40? Mine
    Duck Tape? Mine
    Aspirin? Mine
    Penicillin? Mine
    Better still you would go forwards in time, see all the cool stuff not invented yet and bring it back and 'invent' all that stuff too
  • 3 Hide
    Amen2That , August 25, 2011 12:15 AM
    A) IF you invent a successful time machine, you could go back to the 60s and claim your patent ;-p

    B) With a working time machine, there are SO MANY more interesting possibilities to explore then spending an afternoon at the patent office. If you are simply interested in making money off the patent, you'd be better of say... I don't know... getting a sports almanac detailing the results of major sporting events for the second half of the 20th century.

    In your present time, you might not be successful in patenting the concept of traveling back in time with a machine; however, you could patent the mechanisms involved in the construction of said time machine.
  • 4 Hide
    rockola , August 25, 2011 12:16 AM
    Funny you should mention Velcro. In an episode of Star Trek Enterprise, T'Pol's grandmother sold the patent rights for it so that a human could go to college. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Did_T%27pol_of_Star_Trek_Enterprise_steal_George_de_Mestral%27s_idea_for_Velcro
  • 2 Hide
    klavis , August 25, 2011 12:27 AM
    Thank god someone is finally point this crap out, a lot of concepts and procedures in the technology field were shown or explained in some kind of literature or artistic fashion, not the invention of the actual industry. I hope this works, it's about time that they stop making money of off ideas that were not their own, yet they try to claim it as if it were. How many people watched some sort of Star Trek show and say "Holy shit, that would be awesome" and the people tried to make something to emulate what they saw?
  • 4 Hide
    kingnoobe , August 25, 2011 1:13 AM
    Have you not understood it yet.. Jryan.. Function != Form.. Apple is suing over the looks, which was clearly not even theirs to being with.
  • 4 Hide
    Uberragen21 , August 25, 2011 1:15 AM
    Remember the original Star Trek communicator? Bare any resemblance to flip phones? Yeah, a lot of technology these days is based off Sci-Fi from the past. Whether it shows up in novels, tv shows or movies, the concept was there long before Apple patented it. Therefore, Apple, your patent is null and void. Thank you and come again.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , August 25, 2011 2:14 AM
    I am no apple fan,especially am against their closed platform.However, they have created
    an organisation that has so successfully utilised American innovation ( technical and more importantly creativity) to become the most valuable business model we have seen today.You
    can critisize their business tactics but it has worked.I'm not saying follow their principals, but hey at least they have some and they are not hiding them unlike some.
    For me ,Steve Jobs lead a company on the brink ,through some of the worst period of financial
    crysis post WW2 the world has seen .I am a Vietnamese Australian and can see from this company's example that for as long as they stay true to the American spirit of creativity and innovation they will continue to be a force of influence and power.It's not to say these traits are
    unique to Americans.The western world might be in decline however if we hold true to being positive and being innovative in principal, there is no reason why we can't all grow. The way forward for us all is to be creative in thinking and to defend our
    democratic way of life that has given rise to nurturing free thinking .
  • 8 Hide
    blobos , August 25, 2011 2:39 AM
    I don't get it, there were plenty of other tablets before iPad came out, why does it seem like people think Apple made the first tablet?
  • 0 Hide
    blobos , August 25, 2011 2:39 AM
    I don't get it, there were plenty of other tablets before iPad came out, why does it seem like people think Apple made the first tablet?
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