Samsung cites science fiction movies in Apple patent case

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Stanley Kubrick invented the iPad, Samsung says, after trawling through science fiction movies to try and defend itself from Apple's copyright lawsuit.

In an attempt to argue prior art, the company cites 2001: A Space Odyssey as an example of tablet designs existing long before the iPad.
"In a clip from that film lasting about one minute, two astronauts are eating and at the same time using personal tablet computers. The clip can be downloaded online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQ8pQVDyaLo," reads Samsung's latest filing.

"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."

Samsung also gives British television series The Tomorrow People as another example of a tablet-like device that preceded the iPad.

Apple first sued Samsung in the US in April, alleging that Samsung's Galaxy devices infringed its patents; Samsung fired back shortly afterwards with a countersuit claiming patent infringement on Apple's part.

Patent expert Florian Mueller was the first to uncover the prior art claims.

"It would be amazing if the court agreed with Samsung that this constitutes prior art for that particular iPad-related design patent," he says.

"Whether or not Samsung will succeed, the mere fact that they proffer this kind of evidence is remarkable and will be exciting for many fans of movies in general - and of that movie in particular - to find out about."