Another twist has arisen in the ongoing legal spat between Apple and Samsung over patent infringement – Samsung’s defense team is arguing that the design of the iPad appeared first in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey movie, which was originally released in 1968. They prove this point by entering into evidence a still photo from the film showing the two astronauts eating while looking at tablet computers that, in all honesty, really do remind you of modern-day iPads. Sci-fi movies are often the catalyst for real-world innovations, and tablets have been referenced in movies more often than you might think. Star Trek had its stars constantly plugging away on tablet PCs like the one pictured below; check out the video at the bottom of this post, too. Even the flip phone first appeared in Star Trek, as far as we can tell:
Legal experts actually think Samsung has a case here. A quick and very official read-up on “Prior Art” patent law courtesy of Wikipedia makes us think they’re right. If the courts end up agreeing, Apple might have just shot themselves in the foot… the mass-lawsuit-to-stifle-competition strategy probably needs to go back to the drawing board.