back to article Samsung says Apple lifted iPad from Kubrick's 2001

In courts across the world, Apple has accused Samsung of pilfering ideas from the brains of Jobsian fondleslab engineers. And Samsung has now responded by accusing Apple of pilfering ideas from the brain of Stanley Kubrick. As noticed by inveterate Android watcher Florian Mueller, Samsung recently filed a court brief in …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    Nice try...

    Nice try with the photoshop, but Angry Birds runs in landscape :-p

  2. Craig Matthews
    Alert

    Why 2001?

    No need to look as far back as 1968 for "2001:A Space Odyssey". I would have selected Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994) as the source of inspiration for the iPad.

    Even the name (PADD) is similar.

    1. JEDIDIAH
      Linux

      PADD vs. 2001

      The PADD looks more like a conventional notion of a terminal from it's day or even more like an older tablet device from the current era. However, the tablets from the Discovery look like they could have been planted by a time traveling Apple fanboy.

      Thought as much when I recently watched that movie.

      Oddly enough just after that I heard a radio personality (who used to be a pop musician) complain about tablets and movies like 2001. Said that they "ruin the experience". Felt like a glitch in the Matrix.

    2. alwarming
      Facepalm

      Re: Why 2001? "(1968)"

      While defending infringements, you want to go back as far as possible to show that the idea has been around for a while.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      ...or...

      Ender's Game. This makes many references to a "desk" and from the description, it is clearly a what we now call a "tablet".

      1. Marcus Aurelius
        Go

        Novels

        ...are valid patent stoppers, so the Enders game reference may be valid

        e.g. Waterbeds and Screen Savers: Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein

      2. GhilleDhu
        Thumb Up

        Ahh memories

        Had forgotten about Enders Game :) Thanks for that and a brilliant book.

    4. Chemist

      In the first Foundation novel (~1951)..

      Hari Seldon's (?) new recruit, Gaal Dornick, wasn't offered the use of Seldon's 'calcPAD' or something similar to do a quick bit of psychohistory prediction.

      It doesn't record if it was a calculator-like device or more like a tablet

  3. Gary B.
    Flame

    This is a title

    Flame, to roast the popcorn. This is going to be an entertaining battle...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: Yeah so...

      Frankly, I'm more amongst the lines of "Ridiculous".

      They're all a bunch of weeny girls.

      1. Asher Pat

        "weenie girls" - you mean Apple?

        "weenie girls" - you mean Apple?

  4. AlephP

    Prior Art

    How any of these tablets got through a patent application is beyond me, if its not 2001 where they were seen, they are evolutions of the Star Trek PADD.

    Just searching for PADD gives us http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/PADD which shows a good likeness to every single design of Tablet I have seen on the market today. The first designs go right back to the Original series in 60's

    1. AdamWill

      Because the application isn't reviewed

      "How any of these tablets got through a patent application is beyond me"

      it's simple, really. The community design process does not include any review for prior art; if your papers are in order, your design is granted. The process expects that community designs which shouldn't have been granted will be thrown out on legal review or via a dispute process (you can file a request to invalidate someone else's RCD).

      I could file an RCD on the iPad 2 (or HAL...) tomorrow and, if my paperwork was in order and I paid the appropriate fee, the EU would grant it to me. If I tried to sue anyone using it as evidence, things would likely go hard on me in the court case, but the RCD would be granted.

    2. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Patents?

      Who said it was patent related?

      Apple have just said that the design of the UI, galaxy S phone and the packaging is too similar to their own. That comes under design copyright.

      You can't patent how something looks since patents are about new non-obvious processes.

      1. Oninoshiko
        FAIL

        Re: Giles Jones

        "Who said it was patent related?"

        Every

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/08/23/samsung_battles_apple_with_kubrick/

        Reported

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/08/09/apple_wins_injunction_against_samsung_galaxy_tab_in_europe/

        News

        http://news.cnet.com/8301-27076_3-20096061-248/samsung-cites-kubrick-film-in-apple-patent-spat/

        Story

        http://www.pcworld.com/article/238488/apple_again_cites_inaccurate_evidence_in_samsung_patent_case.html

        On

        http://blogs.reuters.com/mediafile/2011/08/02/tech-wrap-itc-joins-apple-samsung-spat/

        The

        http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2383768,00.asp

        Matter

        http://www.ebnonline.com/author.asp?section_id=1038&doc_id=232290&itc=ebnonline_gnews

        1. AdamWill

          You're both right...

          ...and also, you're both wrong. Apple is suing based on community design law, which isn't copyright law, patent law, _or_ trademark law, exactly. It's closest to the US concept of design patents.

  5. Piloti
    Holmes

    Wavey hand patent....

    I do recall, in the recent past, El Reg had a story about Apples intended patent for being able to control a 'phone not by touching it, but waving at it. WAve up and it slides up, wave down and it scrolls down.

    Much like the computers and radio on the Heart of Gold on Douglas Adams H2G2. Is /that/ prior art as well.....

    If it, and I do have some sympathy with Samsung here, almost everything we use now has a history in Sci-Fi, good and bad. Remember the computer in Blake 7 ? And the Apple Cube... ?????

    P.

    1. Naughtyhorse

      blakes 7!

      as i recall a chunk of the blakes seven machine was an acorn system 1 - 6502/uart/1k ram/ 11*7seg led display/hex keypad and a tape interface.

      my first computer.

      had to solder it all together myself... brilliant stuff

      or did you mean orac?

      see the acorn here

      http://starringthecomputer.com/computer.php?c=209

      1. Manu T

        Blakes 7

        Piloti is definitly refering to Orac :-)

    2. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      Blue iMac

      "And the Apple Cube... "

      I don't know about the Cube, but the horrible blue iMac case was copied from the Dyson DC03 clear. Sir Dyson even has a letter to prove it which he will show you if you get too close.

      Of course they are not competing for customers, so it's all nods and smiles rather than laywers at 12 paces...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Coat

        "the horrible blue iMac case was copied from the Dyson DC03"

        I always thought the iMac sucked…

  6. Random Handle

    Cunning Plan

    Lange/Masters outsourced most of the tech and instrumentation production to ensure realism - the list of aerospace & IT companies working on the film, along with NASA etc was more than impressive.

    Pretty likely it was IBM or Honeywell that knocked up those tablets and definitely the case that a great deal thought went into their design.

    1. RichyS

      It is IBM

      It was IBM, as can be seen from this handy HD screen grab here: http://forums.appleinsider.com/showpost.php?p=1927237&postcount=8

      You'll also notice the row of numeric buttons along the bottom. Sort of makes it look a but less like an iPad now. Oh, and that it has sharp corners instead of (the widely ridiculed) rounded corners of the iPad.

      1. MacGyver
        Trollface

        Ok then..

        Then try Star Trek NG, and the Borg movie they made. Go to Youtube and type iPad and Star Trek, you'll see what I mean. Same rounded corners, same exact size, because its simply the obvious next step between a piece of paper and a notebook. I bet flying cars are going to be kind of roundy and aerodynamic too, quick Apple, better patent that first.

      2. Slabfondler
        Coat

        Now I feel unclean...

        Having read a few posts on AppleInsider, I have this slimy sheen of fanboiism al over me...yuck. Mine's the one with the anti-slime paint on it.

  7. BillG Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Duh.

    Well, duh. When I first saw the iPad I immediately thought of the Pad in 2001. Same dimensions, same look, same everything.

    The conclusion is that the iPad is not an original design because there existed prior artwork in a movie. Might make the tablet form factor public domain? Whopee!!!

    1. Volker Hett

      Yeah!

      Public Domain like light sabres :-)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    No no no, Apple stole the idea from the Ohio Art Company!

    I've done extensive research on this, here:

    https://plus.google.com/111314047796719603099/posts/Y2JRy91aufg

    After minutes and minutes pouring over evidence, it's conclusive.

    1. Quantum Leaper
      Facepalm

      More likely Alan Kay...

      Apple got the idea from Alan Kay and his Dynabook, since Alan once worked for Apple. The Dynabook idea, started in 1968.

      http://www.tomshardware.com/news/alan-kay-steve-jobs-ipad-iphone,10209.html

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      What did you pour on the evidence?

      I personally think maple syrup would be rather tasty...

    3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Don't forget OAC's key UI innovation

      Maybe this will stop Apple from trying to patent the "shake to reboot" feature I hear they're introducing in the next iOS version.

  9. Mike Brown

    ummm these arnt pads

    they are part of the table. unless dave and friend have used rulers to place them in exactly the same place as each other.....

    1. thesykes
      Thumb Down

      ummmm they are...

      take a look at a better quality version of the picture...

      http://community.digitalmediaacademy.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/2001-iPad.jpeg

    2. Andrew Newstead

      Watch the film

      If you watch this scene from the beginning you see that one of the astronauts carries his pad to the table before he watches it. However there is some truth in what you say. The "video" on the pads is a 16 mm movie projected onto the screen from beneath the table, like every screen on the spacecraft ( ref The Making of Kubrick's 2001, Ed Jerome Agel 1970). Arthur Clarke called the device a Newspad.

      Andrew Newstead

      1. Clive Harris

        Dr Haywood Floyd had a newspad

        If you read the book, which came out soon after the movie, there's an episode where Dr Floyd (the scientist who gives the talk on the moonbase) is reading his newspad whilst on the shuttle flight to the moon. He is described as subscribing to many of the news services, so he's having to pay to see the content.

  10. Peter 48
    Trollface

    uh-oh!

    So If I were to watch the film 2001 on an ipad, would that in some way disrupt the space time continuum?

    1. LaeMing Silver badge
      Unhappy

      No, but...

      ... it would make Baby Steve Jobs cry.

    2. Zolko
      Mushroom

      yes

      so please avoid doing that.

  11. NoneSuch
    Joke

    Serves 'em right.

    "Apple did not respond to a request for comment. But this is because we didn't send one."

    Now THAT is proactive reporting. hahahahaha

  12. Justin Clements

    And?

    So why didn't Samsung produce the Tab before the iPad then? Samsung has had 40 years to produce the Tab.

    Of course Samsung are copying. Any of these companies could have produced an iPad before Apple, but they didn't.

  13. Mark Jones

    Event Horizon

    1997 pretty much looks likes ipad there as well ...

  14. Darren Barratt
    FAIL

    It's a shape people

    It's always struck me as bizarre that anyone thought they could patent the rectangle. General Motors might as well try to patent the idea of having 4 wheels on a car.

    1. g e

      Errr but...

      Apple don't make the displays, so someone obviously thought of it before them.

      Who makes these displays... hang on... Samsung make some of them... oh and Apple use them...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Erm, but, but...

        Aren't displays used in other, unrelated devices, like TV's, laptops etc?

        The pad device is more than just the display. Apple got there first in taking the components and making an attractive, workable, user-friendly device. I'm not a big Apple fan, but they are very competent designers.

    2. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      And Nokia 770

      I have a Nokia 770 internet tablet in my drawer. I've had since about 2005-2006. That's at least a couple of years before even the iphone (let alone ipad).

      It's amazing. It connects to the internet by WiFi, plays music and videos, and lets me control it by touching the screen, including scrolling by dragging the brower contents (I think that the iPhone browser is even based on the same code). If I take a photo of it from the right angle and darken it and change the aspect ratio it even looks like an ipad...

      Seriously though, I hope that the personal computer you are using was manufactured by IBM. They are the only ones allowed to manufacture personal computers, you know. Oh and I hope that your car is a Ford; they are the only people allowed to mass-produce cars (as long as the round wheels are made by Fred Flintstone, he was the first to make round wheels...)

      Saying that only 1 company can make a computer that is rectangular, has rounded corners and is flat... W T F ???

    3. easyk

      not really to your point but...

      I would suggest this is because Samsung does not have the sway with media (honestly Jobs takes a dump and its front page tech news) and certain members of the population that allow it to create a market segment. If Samsung were first to introduce a tablet device the form factor would be rightly ignored. If this is true then there is no tablet market but instead an iPad market. If you want to play you need to make an iPady device (and make it cheaper too).

    4. deadbeef
      Holmes

      @Justin Clements

      Because of course Apple never copies anyone....

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tablet.jpg

      http://www.trustedreviews.com/news/Samsungs-Luscious-Q1-Ultra-Gets-Launch-Date

    5. Paul Shirley

      Why didn't Apple produce it earlier?

      What Apple did was prove people wanted to own an implementation of *an existing idea*, not create the idea. If Apple had patented *selling pads* then Samsung would be in real trouble, luckily that's a hard one to get past even the US PTO (where US stands for Useless).

      What this does is destroy their design patent protections because clearly, someone designed beat them to the detail as well as the broad idea ;)

      1. Goat Jam
        WTF?

        Errm

        Are you guys seriously suggesting that the Nokia 770, which is silver and has a whopping great clusterfuck of nav buttons on the front looks and feels just like an ipad?

        Get a grip guys.

        1. Windrose
          Boffin

          No, no, not at all

          Wouldn't even THINK of saying that the Nokia 770 looks like an iPad. Good gracious me. The former looks like a professional palmtop computer, after all; the latter looks like, well, it doesn't much look like ANYTHING, to be honest.

          And it just wifi connection *again* :( What DO you call hardware that looks posh and can't fulfill its function for love or money? Oh, wait. Has anyone FOUND its function yet?

    6. Phillip.

      Well if you are going down that line of argument

      Leonardo de Vinci produced the initial design for the helicopter in 1483. Took a while for technology to catch up to the point it was practical, cost-effective and profitable though.

      Phillip.

      1. Arctic fox
        Headmaster

        @Phillip RE "Well if you are going down that line of argument"

        To continue your analogy so that it *can* be compared with what Apple are trying to get away with we can, for example, suggest Sikorski. Consider a situation where they had sued every other helicopter maker on the grounds that the other manufacturers offerings had an *appearance* that was too much like the *appearance* of Sikorski's helicopters even though the engineering/hardware clearly had *not* been copied from Sikorski. Would one not then be absolutely right to cite Leonardo de Vinci and prior art?

    7. Manu T

      RE: And?

      THe fact of the matter is that in the case of the Galaxy tab they are indeed blindly copying Apple. It's in fact the only fake iPad that's been legaly sold (until now that is) except it doesn't run iOS. But from the looks of it, I wonder why Apple still do business with Foxconn? They could have just asked Samsung to manufacter the damn thing.

      This is all Clive Sinclairs fault! Why the hell did he introduce me to computers 30 years ago? Now I'm "evolved" into an antisocial computer-geek who's prime "hobby" is spending time on El_Reg.

      1. <a|a>=1
        Happy

        tangentially

        Perhaps because 30 years ago you were told that in 10 years time there would be an exciting world of Knowledge-Based Systems and 5th generation computers, LOL. Ok, we have the InterWeb, but interesting AI is always a decade away.

  15. Jean-Luc Silver badge
    Joke

    Good catch.

    "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,"

    Whereas a truly innovative company would have designed a tiny screen, smothered in huge borders, using a concave front and a convex back. Oh, and about as thick as 2 bricks, or half a Samsung lawyer.

    1. Paul Shirley

      too late

      Too late, Clive Sinclair did that last century with that shitty pocket TV ;)

      1. Naughtyhorse

        Sapristi!

        you beat me to it

        lol

    2. BristolBachelor Gold badge
      Joke

      convex back

      "Whereas a truly innovative company would have designed ... and a convex back"

      Ahh, so that is why my Wife's iPod 2 has a convex back, so that it scoots away from you on the desk when you try to click links in the borwser?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    Stan the NASA Man

    Did Stanley Kubrick film the Moon landings for Nasa

    Kubrick's Odyssey: Lunar Hoax Pt. 01

    http://youtu.be/fBQTrColRLQ

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Holmes

    A world of difference

    Between Film/TV props and a working device. Science fiction 'invented' the Jet Engine a couple of decades before Frank Whittle.

    I'm not saying that Apple or whoever is right but there are many products in use today that were inspired by Fiction.

    On the subject of the 2001 prop. I can't remember it from the set. I was an apprentice carpenter at Shepperton Studios from 1967-1971. Mind you I was blown away with the set overall.

  18. Asgard
    Boffin

    Incredible prior art example

    The most damning prior art against Apple's lies is "The Tablet" video from 17 years ago. This for me utterly destroys all Apple's claims. (Work started on The Tablet 19 years ago).

    If you haven't seen the video of The Tablet yet?, its shocking how good it was as a prediction of now. Here's the link:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBEtPQDQNcI

    It can even be argued in court the look of current smart phones are just a smaller scaled down version of this tablet. They even call it "The Tablet".

    I'm tempted to email this to Samsung because they have got to use it against Apple. :(

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I do hope that clip

    isn't infringing any copyright

    1. g e

      I just did.

      Sorted.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Joke

        And I just mailed BT...

        ...as it seems to me Knight-Ridder are infringing their 'HyperLink' patent...

    2. BristolBachelor Gold badge
      Thumb Up

      In the video...

      ...there is an apple Mac if I am not mistaken, showing just how advanced Apple were at the time that the tablet video was made... :)

    3. The BigYin
      Mushroom

      Really?

      You post that utter toss here? Really?

      Every claim of the "no-moon-landing" nut jobs has been debunked. Every. Single. One.

      From the reflections, the waving flag, the shadows, stars and (apparent) multi-light sources.

      All.

      Debunked.

      ALL OF THEM.

      *** REPEATEDLY ***

      You can even debunk them yourself, go watch a few "Mythbusters" episodes or look up some of the NASA/other responses to find out how. Some of them are a piece of piss to debunk, make a good weekend project for you and the kids. "Hey kids, lets investigate the difference between evidence and paranoid-hokum bullshit!".

      At worst, at absolute worst, NASA (or third parties) may have sexed up a few shots for magazines. This is called a "PR puff" and is not a sign of the International Illuminati Jewery Masonic Conspiracy of the Elite Greys.

      I mean, really, Occam's-bloody-Razor. Do you think, as a species, we are so accomplished as to keep a conspiracy on that scale quiet? Do you not watch the news? Has the whole Cryptome and Wikileaks thing just passed you by?

    4. jubtastic1

      Regarding the prop

      The pads in the picture are fixed to the table, they have no backs and line up with holes cut into the table top, the actors legs jostle for space with film projectors mounted under the table which provide the graphics and I'd imagine gently cook their shins.

      In scenes where the actors wander about with a pad it's either off or displaying a static image.

      Of course even if the pads were real, they'd still be fixed to the table along with the actors, as the whole set was designed to revolve, must have been fun going round and round while Kubrick retook the scene. Best set ever.

      1. Tomato42 Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Prior art

        Kubrick made the form factor few decades before Apple

        Palm done the interface a decade before Apple

        The only thing Apple have done with the iPad is marry those two ideas. If you call that inventive then using 4 wheels on a car should give you Nobel prizes in physics and world peace, at least.

    5. Ed Fingleton
      Holmes

      @Asgard Interesting news item in the tablet video...

      7 minutes in there's a close up on news items that the user will be interested in. At the bottom of the page there is a news item about the US warning china not to oppose sanctions that they want to place on Libia. Struck me as rather topical!

    6. jubtastic1

      ^ this

      And somewhat related, I heard Arthur C Clark is suing everyone that ever put a satellite in orbit

      1. Charles Pearmain
        FAIL

        2011 - Resurrection

        Yeah, right.

        And the author of "Resurrection" is suing him for coming back from the dead to do so?

    7. LaeMing Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      If it was an implimentation patent, your point would stand,

      but as an appearance panent, .... the appearance-as-prior-art (art in the most literal sense in this case) is there for all to see.

    8. Ragarath
      Facepalm

      but

      When they are saying its the shape that's the problem then, well the shape has been used before. Even if it is in a sci-fi film, someone had to design it.

    9. Anonymous John

      You don't even have to consider the claims.

      Just ask yourself why the USSR didn't denounce the landings as fake. Or do you think it was in on the hoax, and that the Cold War wasn't real?

      1. The BigYin
        Thumb Up

        @John

        NO! That just proves that the USSR were in on it all the time. It PROVES the conspiracy! Froth, rant, rave.....

        You are, of course, quite correct. The USSR, China, N.Korea, FSM-knows-who-else would have loved to have shown the USA up if it had been fake. Heck, the reporter that broke that story would now be a gazillionaire.

        But yet these complete, dribbling, morons still think it was all a put-up job.

        I really don't have the words to express my contempt. Well, not words I'd use in polite company.

    10. Albert
      Thumb Up

      This is amazing

      It is basically a modern tablet, business model and even shows the local advertising goals that Google is now working to now.

      Much better prior art than then Kubrick's 2001 video.

    11. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You do know that in 1969

      it was easier to go to the moon than it was to fake the pictures?

  20. The BigYin

    Oh FFS

    Humans have broadly similar:

    1) aesthetics

    2) hand-sizes

    3) vision

    4) ergonomic requirements

    5) build

    So is it really any wonder that nice products all start to look kinda the same? Apple created the consumer tablet market (pretty much) but the limitation of us meat-sacks mean that *ALL* tablets will end up looking alike. Just all cars of a particular class look alike, all motorcycles of a class look alike, all [non-novelty] coffee mugs look alike, all LCD monitors look alike and so on.

    The only people who can tell them apart are the primadonna fanbois, no one else gives a toss (unless there is passing-off).

  21. Bugs R Us
    Thumb Up

    IBM Telepad

    Anyone with a 1080P Bluray of 2001:A Space Odyssey will be able to see that the pads are clearly badged "IBM Telepad". What's more, the "telepad" badge is in the classic Thinkpad font and at 45 degrees!!! Would be great if IBM had patented it and can go after Apple.

    1. amanfromearth
      FAIL

      Well

      How long do you think a patent lasts?

      1. Zippy the Pinhead
        FAIL

        @amanfromearth

        doesn't matter if the patent has run out.. prior art is prior art!

    2. TeeCee Gold badge
      Headmaster

      Re: IBM Telepad

      As that's a considerable number of years before there was a Thinkpad, it's probably more accurate to say that the Thinkpad badge is in the classic Telepad font and at 45 degrees!!!

  22. mfraz

    Acorn were there first?

    How about the Acorn (ART) NewsPAD - http://acorn.chriswhy.co.uk/Computers/NC.html#NewsPAD?

    1. VinceH Silver badge

      Letters, Digits

      Saved me the effort. Though, just for fun, I'll add this link:

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/1999/05/26/acorns_web_news_pad_makes/

  23. Jolyon Smith
    Coat

    @Justin - so the first person to copy is... being original ?

    Apple claim that Samsung are copying Apple.

    Samsung are simply pointing out that Apple's idea wasn't actually their idea in the first place and if Samsung are copying anyone then so are Apple.

    Mines the one with a HAL in the pocket.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      yes but...

      No-one is suing Apple for copying their product.

      1. Jedit
        FAIL

        No...

        That's because Apple are the only one claiming that the design belongs to them.

      2. Zippy the Pinhead
        FAIL

        @AC 3:58

        Yes.. yes they are.

  24. Gary F

    Lt Cmd Data is a typical ipad user

    Short clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_n7ZyS_g0DQ

    Yes, exactly, a completely illogical decision and explanation, but oh so typical! ;-)

  25. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    All Samsung's Radio Patents Belong To us

    I'm sorry Samsung but prior art called Star Trek showed radio communicators that invalidate any and all of your mobile and satellite radio technology patents. Time to close shop and hand me the keys as your days are over.

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
      Coat

      Wow, that must have been a REALLY dull episode

      When they went over all of those chip designs in fine detail. Glad I missed that one.

      ...Or just maybe Samsung's patents originate in their R&D department, and Apple's in the marketing department...

  26. henrydddd
    Unhappy

    gettin stupid

    Patient laws are getting stupid. They need to be changed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      Impatiently waiting

      Title says it all

  27. json

    It's in the execution

    ..apple just made it really cool but for the form factor.. have to agree with most of the blokes here, IMO it is prior art.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Sci-Fi Prior Art Legal Precident...

    In Robert Heinlein's novel "Stranger In A Strange Land" he described a hydraulic bed. The descriptions of this bed were used as prior art in a patent lawsuit and the prior art wone the day. The result was that the Heinlein Estate owns the patent for the Water Bed. Robert Heinlein promptly placed the Water bed patent in the public domain, which is why water beds are so inexpensive (or so I have been told).

    If this can happen with a water bed, I think there must be suficient prior art in the 1950's and 1960's pulp Sci-Fi magazines (e.g. Amazing Stories and Fantasy & Science Fiction) to blow any computer patents out of the water, not to mention the Sci-Fi greats like Heinlein, Asimov, EE Doc Smith, etc.

    But I'm not a patent attorney - just a tosser who reads the reg. :-)

    Cheers.

    Sting

  29. cmaurand
    Linux

    Oh please

    You're all forgetting about the stack of tablets sitting on Jean Luc Picards desk STNG. They tossed them around like nothing.

  30. Mips
    Childcatcher

    Patent on a design?

    Does that mean I can patent the Ford Mondeo design, ooh, or a Porsche 911?

  31. Tom 7 Silver badge

    rectangular shape with a dominant display screen

    "rectangular shape with a dominant display screen, narrow borders, a predominately flat front surface, a flat back surface and a thin form factor"

    Piece of paper? Sinclair thingy.

    That you can even think of copyrighting something like that let alone patenting it is

    is ...there's no other way of putting it... fucking insane.

  32. Phil 39

    Anyone else remember an old late 80s issue of Personal Computer World magazine...

    ..which featured a two page article about the tablet PCs of the future (including illustrations)? The main emphasis was that the PC would become a 10 or 12 inch hand held touchscreen device with an onscreen keyboard. and (if I remember correctly) a 2048px wide screen and would be used for the day to day computing the author expected of us - reading news, checking our calendar and downloading pron. I can't remember what networking functionality this was assumed to have. I thought it was pretty far fetched at the time (I was about 10 years old) but nowadays everything seems pretty close. The only major difference to current tablets was that the device was a clamshell, and purple.

    My dad probably still has it knocking around in the garage.

    1. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: Patent on a design

      It's called copyright, but - assuming you designed the Porsche 911 - sure.

    2. Paul Shirley

      me too

      I remember something closer to an iPhone (and advanced one with a borderless full glass face and yes telephony was mentioned) but it's been a long time. Been trying to track down some ref to it for a while now, when the pile got too high I dumped most of my copies.

      Seems it's just the 2 of us that remember it :(

  33. Torben Mogensen

    Level 4 glamour

    Apple's main innovation was adding a level 4 glamour to the packaging.

  34. Danny 5
    Thumb Up

    can't........

    stop............

    laughing!!!!

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    prior art

    an overall rectangular shape,

    dominant display screen,

    narrow borders,

    a predominately flat front surface,

    a flat back surface,

    and a thin form factor.

    as in a piece (or pad) of paper?

    prior art and self obvious, the judge needs to pull out his black cap and pass sentence on these ridiculous patents.

    -Paris, she sort of fits the description too.

  36. Mondo the Magnificent
    Angel

    BC!

    The first ever reference to a Tablet that contained data was in the Old Testament:

    Moses ascened from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments on two Tablets.. (technicall a download too)

    1. Chemist
      Joke

      To use an old joke

      Moses was the first man to ride a motorbike too

      "For the roar of Moses' Triumph was heard throughout the land " or similar

  37. janhess

    Before 1968

    Didn't Moses first have tablets?

    1. Danny 5
      Thumb Up

      including

      rounded corners!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      Moses did...

      ...and being a first generation of tablets it felt as though you was carrying a brick.

  38. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Go

    Just wondering

    Are we (at last) reaching the tipping point of stupidity where, hopefully, at last the whole sorry mess will come cascading down?

    I'm not holding my breath, but I DO hope so.

  39. Mick Sheppard
    Joke

    Uh Fiction?

    Is this some strange commentary on the whole patent/copyright system that they are using a work of fiction to attempt to prove prior art?

    The bottom line is that an Android phone or tablet doesn't have to look like an iPhone/iPad but Samsung have made theirs as close as they can without actually sticking an Apple logo on it. This is no Apple v Microsoft where Apple was trying to go for general look-and-feel but a real copycat attempt at passing off.

    1. Zippy the Pinhead
      FAIL

      @ Mick Sheppard

      However the image that Apple provided to the court of the Samsung tablet was doctored to make the device look MORE like the Apple iPad. If you compare the two side by side they are less similar. Just cause it's a rectangle and it has a black bezel it doesn't mean that Samsung stole the idea from Apple. That's the same crap Apple tried to pull with the Mouse and the GUI. They stole (sorry borrowed for all you fanbois out there) the idea from Xerox. This makes Apple's claim that Samsung stole the idea for the device very weak and in fact it's been pointed out that not only did Apple steal the idea from prior art, but also that this is just the natural shape of a device of this type.

  40. Stuart Castle

    And for their next trick..

    Samsung will produce a table like device that is remarkably similar to Microsoft's Surface product, and claim Microsoft copied the idea of a table or desk with large touch sensitive screen from Disney's Tron.

  41. TonyHoyle

    Apple are playing a dangerous game

    Its probably impossible to make a phone (or a pad, which is basically a big phone) without infrongng on someones patent.. that is well understood, and so they al either cross license or turn a blind eye to it.

    Then comes upstart apple, who seek to use the patent system to destroy any and all competition. This has two potential results. 1. They lose a signifacant number of patent claims, weakening their position (this has already started to happen - to get a temporary ban on the galaxy s they lost several patent claims in the process, including look and feel ones) 2. The other companies go nuclear on their ass, making it impossible for them to produce iPhones or ipads.

    This is going to get a lot uglier than it is now.

  42. John Fielder
    Headmaster

    The Tomorrow People

    Don't forget The Tomorrow People, in the 70's, as previously pointed out on this website, an exact copy of the IPad, they must have used their pychic powers to see into the future and steal the Apple patents.

    Are Apple going to prosecute I wonder?

    Have they tried to prosecute for coming up with their idea before they did? (would not surprise me in the least)

  43. rbryanh

    Whimpering Rich People

    I have the same reaction to this that I do to the silly games members of the US Congress play for their own amusement while their country falls apart around them.

    I'd like to line every last one of them up and slap them in their selfish, foolish, narcissistic, greedy faces, and with each slap, transfer $10K from their personal accounts to a charity that helps young people grow up to be something other than fools.

    People who believe life is about the accumulation of wealth are insufficiently mature to be allowed any.

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