Samsung Cites Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” Movie As Prior Art Argument Against Apple’s Preliminary Injunction Request

Apple VS Samsung

As you may already know, Apple and Samsung are at each other’s throats lately.

Apple first sued Samsung for blatantly copying iPad, Samsung countered sued Apple and ordered Apple to show its next generation iPhone and iPad, which prompted Apple to amend its complaint against Samsung to include more Samsung models and Apple again accused Samsung of slavishly copying Apple’s product.

A German court even granted Apple a preliminary injunction baring sale of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab in the European Union, which was later withdrawn. FOSS Patents now reports that Samsung is using an interesting strategy against Apple’s preliminary injunction request.

FOSS Patents reports:

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.

Samsung is apparently citing Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ movie as prior art against iPad design patent.

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 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.

You can checkout the clip from the movie below:

It will be interesting to see if court agrees with Samsung that Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ movie as prior art against iPad design patent to avoid the preliminary injunction baring sale of its products.

What do you think? Please share your views in the comments below.

[via FOSS Patents]

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  • First. If this is true, I should have saved all my drawings from when I was younger.

    • George

      Hey Picasso, you need to publish it first before anyone can infringe on it.

      • Zolk

        I’m not really replying, I just wanted to get my comment higher up the page…

        …to point out that “barring” has been misspelt as “baring” twice in this article! Very bad editing considering the change in meaning.

  • Melvarius

    ye can just see the headlines now…

    Apple sues ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ movie for retrospective iTampon design patent infringement. lol

    • George

      That will never happen. Stanley Kubrick has more class…….

      • Justin

        He also has more death. Too soon?

  • John

    Creating a science fiction of a product that isn’t functional doesn’t make it a prior art. Take the teleportation device found on star trek. If someone managed to invent such a real device, you can bet that they’ll patent it and “prior art” simply do not apply.

    • Zolk

      Never mind the teleportation device (imaginitively called a “transporter”) – what about the PADD devices on Star Trek Teh Neckst Gen, how ipaddy is that!?

  • Chris

    One could argue that it does apply, it should be interesting to see what way this one goes.

  • Kiwiholden

    That’s just two small LCD TV’s I’d say

    • Dude

      LCD in 1969????? Come on.. Give me a fucking break.. It was 1969 for crying out loud… LCD was barely invented. If its anything its just a CRT tv under the table.

  • Moose

    ok that doesnt show anything. all you can see is a portable screen. You cant really tell how thick it is, how wide the bezel is, if the edges are rounded, and im pretty sure that there buttons at the bottom. pause at any time and you see like 12 LEDs or something.

    • RiffRath

      Not only that nobody touches the screen in that clip so no touch screen so samsung can go touch themselves

  • It doesn’t even look like anything close to an ipad …… you can use anything to slow your competitors using politics/laws , it seems

  • nonlinearmind

    My argument would be that those aren’t tablets at all. In fact, they are never picked up and manipulated (obviously, because to create that effect back then, they would have used projection from beneath the table). I would say those are simply screens embedded in the table at *equal* angles. If they were portable, surely they wouldn’t be resting the exact same way.

  • George

    Damn, There are a lot of patent lawyers(iSheep) here. Most patents are just ideas(not actually functioning prototype) and most are unlikely to ever be made and see the light of day.

  • George

    One more thing, for all you geniuses who thinks its a projector or a CRT under the table. How about “Green Screen” or “Blue Screen”

    • Justin

      Kubrick didn’t use chroma keying on 2001, because the optical printing steps would have introduced extra dirt and grain on the film image. All displays in the film were done in camera with 16mm film projectors.

  • unreal

    wouldn’t an actual tablet of paper with a rectangular picture count as prior art? That plus a TV + a computer? Apple didn’t invent any of those things. Not even remotely. Nor did they invent any of the tech that put them together. As soon as the technology for making that picture move (existing tech) could be fitted into that existing form factor, it was pretty friggin’ obvious to everyone. Yeah, great – they pushed the market. And for that they were rewarded with “first to market” advantage. But an “invention”???? Get real.

    prior art aside, the “novel” requirement is very much overlooked.

    OZ (Australia) has a two tiered system. one for actual “wow” inventions, and other for “”no duh” innovations.

  • fas

    How lame, a random youtube video citied in a tab war!

  • Gustavo

    I saw a lot of tablets in Sci-Fi films like Space Odissey, Star Trek (all its flavours), Galactica, and some others.
    It´s incredible that the US Patent Office bring a patent for a rectangular shape, when everybody knows that the shape for every screen in the world is…yeah you´re right, RECTANGULAR…
    A tip to the Apple’s competitors: do triangular, hexagonal, round or even “egg form” tablets.

  • gary

    Wow, look how many Americans are anti Apple. This is why we are doomed in this country. Maybe Samsung should have blamed Obama for this. It seems like he is blamed for everything else. I wont sell out the only positive profit making American company to save a few dollars. I am proud of Apples hard work to bring us these products. Why should Samsung get the technology for free. Samsung can go to hell!