Samsung Suggests Apple Stole the iPad Concept from '2001'

The patent battle over tablet design is getting weirder and weirder

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Samsung is throwing twists into their on-going patent dispute with Apple. In their latest court filings, the Korean company suggests that Apple borrowed the concept of the iPad's design from Stanley Kubrick's classic science fiction film "2001: A Space Odyssey." The filing submitted to the U.S. District Court included a host of examples of pre-iPad tablet designs, but the comparison to Kubrick's design nails it: "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 move comes in response to months of legal wrangling in the United States and abroad over whether or not Samsung's new Galaxy tablet infringes on the iPad's interface design patent, D'899. As The Wall Street Journal explains, "One of the ways defendants respond to such charges is by trying to get a judge to declare a patent invalid, often by citing earlier inventions to make a case the patent should never have been granted." Despite being a little bit unusual, patent expert Florian Mueller thinks that Samsung's latest defense strategyis awesome, whether it works or not.

"It would be amazing if the court agreed with Samsung that this constitutes prior art for that particular iPad-related design patent," writes Mueller, who broke the story on his blog FOSS Patents. "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."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.