The Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics says that Apple’s 2005 design patent on the iPad isn’t valid because Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 movie “2001: A Space Odyssey,” featured the design decades ago, according to a court document.
Samsung’s lawyers filed a declaration with a federal district court in Northern California late Monday that included a link to a YouTube clip of the relevant portion of the movie (see below.)
The filing reads:
“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.
The document was first obtained by Florian Mueller, a prominent German blogger who writes about patents.
Apple told the court this July that Samsung’s Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets infringe upon its patents, and its lawyers asked the court to stop Samsung from selling its line of Galaxy products in the United States.
Apple has also tried to block Samsung’s entry into the tablet market in Europe and other countries around the world.
But Samsung’s lawyers are arguing that Apple doesn’t deserve patent protection because the idea for the iPad’s design isn’t new. In addition to the reference to 2001, Samsung has enlisted several experts to testify to bolster its case.