The patent war between Samsung and Apple has taken an unusual turn, with Samsung arguing Apple’s iPad design has been borrowed from Sci-fi television shows and movies. Better yet, the argument appears to have credence in a court room.
Apple has taken Samsung to court around the globe for allegedly imitating the iPad’s patented design. Apple’s eagerness to sue people has caused controversy, especially since it has been allegedly submitting misleading evidence on two noted counts.
Now, Samsung has argued that design kudos should be attributed to Stanley Kubrick, as his1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey depicts tablet devices that share the same form factor as the patented iPad.
The argument, which is being used in the US courts, seems legitimate to a senior patent lawyer claiming “Samsung probably has viable defence here.”
Featured in Samsung’s exhibits is a minute YouTube clip taken from Kubrick’s film, showing two astronauts eating while using the ahead-of-its-time tablet technology.
The argument claims the footage depicts a tablet that “has an overall rectangular shape with a dominant display screen, narrow borders, a predominantly 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.” According to Samsung, this example of “prior art” undermines Apple’s claims it invented the design of the iPad.
Samsung are also citing a scene from The Tomorrow People, with the 70’s British TV show depicting a tablet too.
Florian Mueller, founder of the NoSoftwarePatents campaign, has been tracking the ongoing patents dispute between Samsung and Apple and noticed the reference. He believes it would be “amazing” if the court agreed with Samsung.
According to Mark Summerfield, the Senior Associate of Intellectual Property Law firm Watermark, the evidence bears legal credence as Apple’s case concerns the design of the Samsung 10.1 tablet, and not its function.
“Generally science fiction is not legitimate prior art to a utility patent, because it does not provide an ‘enabling disclosure,’ i.e. it does not inform the public how to make the fictional apparatus.” But, he claims there’s no reason why science fiction couldn’t “invalidate prior art,” possibly undermining Apple’s design claims.
As Android continues to grow, threatening Apple’s dominance in all things electronic, the company has been defending itself through legal channels, suing other brands like HTC and Motorola.
Read: Apple Submit Misleading Evidence In Samsung Case Claims Lawyers
In Australia, the Samsung and Apple case will commence on Monday, the 29th of August 2011.