Khasanah Islam

Samsung Contests iPad Design Patent Using “2001: A Space Odyssey”

Samsung has brought some unusual evidence into its most recent patent battle with Apple — the 1968 Stanley Kubrick film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Last month Apple filed a motion to stop Samsung from selling its Galaxy Tablet and some smartphones based on patents that the iPad-maker holds. When Samsung filed its opposition brief Monday evening, patent blog Foss noticed that one exhibit it included was an image taken from Kubrick’s film.
The image includes tablet-like devices, and Samsung’s lawyers are attempting to use it as proof that designs for the iPad and iPhone were established before Apple started filing patents for them.
“In a clip from that film lasting about one minute, two astronauts are eating and at the same time using personal tablet computers,” reads the explanation for the exhibit. “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, as Foss‘s Florian Mueller says, “It would be amazing if the court agreed with Samsung that this constitutes prior art for that particular iPad-related design patent,” we can understand why it’s tempting to make the comparison.
In fact, we pointed out the similarities between the description of the device in Arthur C. Clarke’s book and the iPad last September. Here’s Clarke’s account of his fictional device:
When he tired of official reports and memoranda and minutes, he would plug in his foolscap-size newspad into the ship’s information circuit and scan the latest reports from Earth. One by one he would conjure up the world’s major electronic papers…Switching to the display unit’s short-term memory, he would hold the front page while he quickly searched the headlines and noted the items that interested him. Each had its own two-digit reference; when he punched that, the postage-stamp-size rectangle would expand until it neatly filled the screen and he could read it with comfort.
So yes, Samsung has a point. But the same can be said for concepts like tanks, virtual reality games, earbud headphones, video chat, automatic doors, radar and the escalator that appeared in science fiction before reality.(


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