Samsung: Stanley Kubrick invented the tablet in "2001: A Space Odyssey"

By on August 24, 2011, 2:00 PM

In one of the more interesting turn of events in the ongoing Apple versus Samsung patent infringement battle, Samsung’s defense team has introduced what they consider prior art that could have been used to inspire the design of the iPad. That prior art in question comes from Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 sci-fi film “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

Foss Patents initially reported on the findings in Samsung’s opposition brief to Apple’s motion for a preliminary injunction in the US.

In one of the exhibits filed with the US District Court for the Northern District of California, Samsung points to a clip from the movie showing two astronauts eating a meal while looking at tablet computers lying on the table next to them.

The declaration explains the clip as such:

“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.” 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.”

Prior art is described as information that has been disclosed to the public in any form about an invention before a given date that might be relevant to the patent's claim of originality.

Admittedly, this is a rather unusual defense but then again, the two tablets in the clip could very well qualify as previous art that Apple based the iPad design off of. Foss Patents believes that the court would likely disagree with Samsung that this constitutes prior art for the iPad design patent, however.

The saga between Apple and Samsung has been playing out in courts across the globe for some time now. Earlier this month Apple successfully blocked Samsung from releasing the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia. Apple recently won a similiar temporary injunction against Samsung in the European Union.




User Comments: 20

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Panda218 Panda218 said:

I'm really sick of this whole "Patent Wars" situation, but I'm cheering for Samsung.

MilwaukeeMike said:

An ipad is 9.5 inches by 7.3 inches... that's a ratio of 1.301. An 8.5 x11 sheet of paper is a ratio of 1.294. And yet Apple claims the patent because it's a computer, not paper.... nevermind common sense on the convenience of that shape.

I'm sick of it too, Panda.. it's pretty sad when companies rely on blocking a competitors product for silly reasons instead of competitive pricing or a better product etc.

IAMTHESTIG said:

You sure it wasn't Star Trek? They had those pad things which are similar to tablets for ages... granted they never showed full color video or anything, but the idea of a portable data accessing device with the display being the primary component seen is still there.

IAMTHESTIG said:

Actually never mind... 1968... ok.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Hahahaha

At this rate William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, et al should just sue everybody in the IT industry today for stealing all of their ideas.

I know that in today's business climate you have to sue to some degree, but Apple's lawsuits of late have really been the whole grasping at straws variety.

There are genuine lawsuits when it comes to patented items or processes, but this whole "looks like our product" lawsuits are lame and pathetic.

If that's how things are, Summer's Eve should sue Steve Jobs as his actions are giving their product a bad name.

Guest said:

HalĀ's solution to the halting problem? Kill the programmer.

bakape said:

milwaukeemike said:

An ipad is 9.5 inches by 7.3 inches... that's a ratio of 1.301. An 8.5 x11 sheet of paper is a ratio of 1.294. And yet Apple claims the patent because it's a computer, not paper.... nevermind common sense on the convenience of that shape.

I'm sick of it too, Panda.. it's pretty sad when companies rely on blocking a competitors product for silly reasons instead of competitive pricing or a better product etc.

Apple patented the golden ratio?! Wait till the lawyer of Pythagoras hears about this.

KG363 KG363 said:

bakape said:

milwaukeemike said:

An ipad is 9.5 inches by 7.3 inches... that's a ratio of 1.301. An 8.5 x11 sheet of paper is a ratio of 1.294. And yet Apple claims the patent because it's a computer, not paper.... nevermind common sense on the convenience of that shape.

I'm sick of it too, Panda.. it's pretty sad when companies rely on blocking a competitors product for silly reasons instead of competitive pricing or a better product etc.

Apple patented the golden ratio?! Wait till the lawyer of Pythagoras hears about this.

LMAO

Guest said:

IAMTHESTIG is correct. Star Trek had devices that could be interpreted as tablets way back in 66. They had a couple big dorky lights on them and were shaped more like a wedge of cheese than modern tablets. But characters were seen to write on them with a modern looking stylus and presumably also read from them. Hey for that matter Star Trek invented the cell phone. At least the first use of such a device on tv that I recall.

Come to think of it Robert A. Heinlein invented cell phones way back in the late 40's or early 50's in some of his early Juvenile fiction. He also invented the space federation, if memory serves. Also, one of the Star Trek episodes The Trouble With Tribbles was so close to an early Heinlein novel that they decided to ask Heinlein's permission before making the show. Looks like Roddenberry read Heinlein.

MilwaukeeMike said:

kg363 said:

bakape said:

milwaukeemike said:

An ipad is 9.5 inches by 7.3 inches... that's a ratio of 1.301. An 8.5 x11 sheet of paper is a ratio of 1.294. And yet Apple claims the patent because it's a computer, not paper.... nevermind common sense on the convenience of that shape.

I'm sick of it too, Panda.. it's pretty sad when companies rely on blocking a competitors product for silly reasons instead of competitive pricing or a better product etc.

Apple patented the golden ratio?! Wait till the lawyer of Pythagoras hears about this.

LMAO

You laugh... now we know why the iPod isn't a triangle.

SammyJames said:

Poor Kubrick. He must be spinning in his grave...

SammyJames said:

Guest said:

Also, one of the Star Trek episodes The Trouble With Tribbles was so close to an early Heinlein novel that they decided to ask Heinlein's permission before making the show..

Yes -- you speak of "The Rolling Stones." Heinlein also credited "Pigs Is Pigs." There was a time in this world when people would just ASK PERMISSION -- or at least offer CREDIT for having done something first.

Guest said:

Also don't forget Star Trek TNG's PADDs. Those were entirely touch driven and look like small ipads

aj_the_kidd said:

Coming up with the idea of a tablet (Stanley Kubrik), well actually creating a prop for a movie, and actually making one (Apple) are 2 very different things IMO. Good tacit by Samsung, makes a mockery of Apple's claim, even though i think they have a case

PinothyJ said:

Guest said:

HalĀ's solution to the halting problem? Kill the programmer.

Damn I hate when people comment on 2001 when they have absolutely no grasp on the content of the book or film :|...

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I'd imagine everything we have today in some shape or form is inspired by science fiction. I also think ST:TNG is the prime inspiration for a lot of things, even with older scifi having similar devices. In any case, someone better make a Holodeck in the next couple decades.

Guest said:

Stanley Kubrick was a genius

Guest said:

They're both wrong. Disney had them inside the "future" part of the geodesic dome ride at EPCOT years before. Anyone - baby boomers especially - remember?

Guest said:

It's not the tablets in 2001 that are inspirational: it's the table!

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