updated 02:45 pm EDT, Tue August 23, 2011
Argues that tablet concept extends back decades
Samsung is using Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey as an example of prior art in defense against Apple, notes FOSS Patents. Apple is hoping to score a preliminary injunction against several Samsung products in the United States, including the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Samsung points out, though, that something resembling Apple's definition of its tablet extends as far back as 2001, which was released in 1968.
"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'," a Samsung declaration reads. "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. 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."
Although citing a famous film as prior art is unusual and not Samsung's only defense, it may serve to show that the ideas behind the iPad are not unique to Apple and in fact have a long precedence in popular culture. Writers have often commented that the iPad resembles a science-fiction device, such as the tablets used in the Star Trek TV shows.