Samsung Uses “2001: A Space Odyssey” Movie As Evidence Against Apple’s iPad Design

Florian Mueller at FOSS Patents reports on Samsung’s latest documents filed against Apple’s motion for preliminary injunction in the United States:

Ever since Apple started to assert the design of the iPad against other manufacturers, many people have been wondering whether there’s actually prior art for the general design of the iPad in some futuristic devices shown in sci-fi movies and TV series. And indeed, Samsung’s lawyers make this claim now in their defense against Apple’s motion for a preliminary injunction.

These newly provided documents include a screen grab of Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”, which shows two “tablet devices” on a table. Samsung’s lawyers write:

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.

The ongoing series of lawsuits between Apple and Samsung is getting really complex and difficult to follow, and this is the first example of something interesting Samsung will likely pursue in the coming weeks: providing prior art as evidence that Apple didn’t really invent anything new with the iPad’s design. I wonder if Samsung will use Pixar’s “The Incredibles” too?