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Samsung Cites 2001: A Space Odyssey In Apple Patent Case 432

Posted by Soulskill
from the i'm-sorry-steve-i-can't-do-that dept.
suraj.sun and several other readers sent word that Samsung is using a clip from Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey as an example of prior art in its defense against Apple's patent infringement claims. "In a clip from that film lasting about one minute, two astronauts are eating and at the same time using personal tablet computers. ... 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." Samsung also supplied a clip from 1970s British TV series The Tomorrow People.
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Samsung Cites 2001: A Space Odyssey In Apple Patent Case

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  • StarTrek TNG (Score:5, Informative)

    by avxo (861854) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @08:19PM (#37185946)
    TNG certainly showcased a tablet like device (the "PADD") in most of the shows.
  • Re:A Tablet (Score:4, Informative)

    by Kreigaffe (765218) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @09:07PM (#37186276)

    The patent doesn't look like an iPad or Galaxy Tab, either.

    And yes, it is prior art. The tablet is not a new or novel idea. A particular implementation may be, but as can be clearly demonstrated the concept of a flat device similar in form and size to a pad of legal-sized paper which dynamically displays information on its top face has been around FOR FUCKING DECADES. Apple can't patent an idea that clearly predates their company. And Steve should probably be run out of Dodge for even trying. This is why people don't like him -- because he's a massive prick.

  • Re:One goddamn claim (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dachannien (617929) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @09:09PM (#37186280)

    This is how design patents work. They are a completely different beast from utility patents.

    I don't deal with design patents, so I'm not extremely familiar with their intricacies, but generally speaking, you'll have one claim and one drawing. The claim almost always specifically refers to the drawing. In the drawing, any features shown with dashed lines are not part of the "claim" - they are exemplary in nature to help you see how the claimed features interrelate to the rest of the object. Only the parts with solid lines are considered part of the ornamental design which their patent is intended to cover.

  • by elhedran (768858) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @09:59PM (#37186580)

    I think you may need to provide some links to back the idea its about the icons as well. I'm looking at

    http://allthingsd.com/20110418/apple-files-patent-suit-against-samsung-over-galaxy-line-of-phones-and-tablets/ [allthingsd.com]

    more specifically the screenshot

    http://mobilized.allthingsd.com/files/2011/04/apple-v.-samsung-2.png [allthingsd.com]

    * A sunflower for the 'photos' app

    I don't even see a sunflower or flower of any type.

    * A white cartoon bubble with a green background for SMS

    The sms icon isn't green and doesn't have a cartoon bubble.

    * A calendar icon with a red bar on top, and black text showing the current day

    Its green, and that said it looks like a day planner calendar. Yes, this is similar but at some point you have to say "What else would look like a calendar and fit on an icon?" If the answer is only two or three things patenting one of them is absurd.

    * An envelope icon against a cloudy sky

    well, envelopes for email existed long before the iPhone. I don't see clouds or sky either in the email icons.

    * A notebook with a brown binding on top

    I'll give you this one... but again how many ways can you represent a 'note pad'.

    So all in all we have one copied icon out of your list. I don't think your claim this is about the icons has merit given what I've been able to find. Obviously if you have some other links I'd be keen to see them and review my position.

  • Re:This is why! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @10:16PM (#37186688) Homepage Journal

    The patent system was broken a lot further back than a couple decades. As far back as the late '60's and '70's, the automotive industry was buying up patents, primarily to prevent competing innovations ever making it to market.

    I heard stories about that, as a youngster. I really didn't put much stock in them, until I met my first wife's uncle. The old man had patented some modification to carburetors, which drastically increased fuel mileage. A typical Chevrolet Impala with a 350 engine could be coaxed into going 16, 20, maybe 24 miles per gallon. In a rare instance or two, the old man got around 30 mpg.

    He sold that patent to General Motors, and his idea was basically lost.

    I drove one of the cars he modified. It didn't have a lot of power, but it did get a little over 20 mpg.

    My point is - the day the first patent was bought up by a competitor, for the sake of burying the technology, is the day that the patent system broke. Someone, somewhere, should have made note of that fact, and initiated changes to the law. Burying and/or monopolizing technology cannot be good for any society, culture, or civilization.

  • by sjames (1099) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @10:30PM (#37186750) Homepage

    Simply wrong. This is a patent suit, not copyright or trademark. Have a look at the patent in question [google.com]. THAT is what Apple is claiming they should have a worldwide exclusive right to.

    That is what Samsung is countering by showing very similar designs from the '60s.

    However, looking at the side by side of the icons [businessinsider.com], I remain unconvinced even there. The phone icon is predated by Bell using something like that on payphone pedestals for ages if Apple has a case against Samsung there, then Bell should sue Apple. Flowers of various sorts are commonly used for photo icons. Gears are likewise commonly used for configuration and such (If Apple has a case against Samsung on that one, then MS has a case against Apple).

  • Apple the Theif (Score:5, Informative)

    by protektor (63514) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @02:19AM (#37188176)

    If Apple wants to claim that other people are stealing their ideas and their work, then I would love to know how they justify all the stealing that they have done. I would love to know how Apple can justify stealing other people's work and then patenting it.

    I want to know how Apple thinks it is ok to steal the trade dress of legal tablets/paper and act like they invented it and that they can be protected from others using the exact same thing. Is Apple licensing the legal tablet/paper look from one of the paper companies? If not then Apple needs to be sued for stealing too. I also recall several programs that used this exact icon for their simple note editor program that wasn't a full blown word processor. I recall it being used on almost every OS, Apple IIgs, Windows (all versions), Linux, Mac, etc. Apple point blank stole this from earlier programs because people have already been trained that the picture of a notepad means a small note taking program, not full blown word processor. So Apple is not original or the first, so they never should have been given a patent, not to mention so obvious and not at all innovative.

    The same goes for the envelope for email. I believe that either one of the early graphic computer BBSes or Prodigy might want a word with Apple for stealing their interface icons. I would look at Prodigy, Hawayii FYI, Minitel, Habitat (pre-AOL) or early NAPLPS BBS (TurBoard, Searchlight, TBBS, Renegade, etc) or the Excalibur BBS, the first windows BBS. They all used an envelope of somSo ae sort to represent email. Apple point blank stole this from earlier programs because people have already been trained that the picture of an envelope means email. So again not original or the first so they never should have been given a patent, not to mention so obvious and not at all innovative.

    I also believe that the cartoon bubble was used by early graphic BBS to indicate chat with the SYSOP as well. I know it was in fact used in Habitat as well (pre-AOL). So all Apple did here was re-purpose the icon for SMS chat/msgs. So many Windows, Internet programs (chat, IRC, Palace chat, etc) and communication software packages have used the cartoon bubble as an icon over the years. Apple point blank stole this from earlier programs because people have already been trained that the picture of cartoon bubble means talk/chat/message. Again not original or the first, so they never should have been given a patent, not to mention so obvious and not at all innovative.

    The patent on the dial icon is going to fall into the exact same problems. Apple point blank stole this from earlier programs because people have already been trained that the picture of a phone or a handset means to call or use phone functions. I am pretty sure some of the early BBS programs used the phone handset and the phone itself as icons in the graphic terminal programs they used. So once again Apple is not original or the first here. Apple may have even stolen from their own developers. Early Apple II BBS programs used the mouse characters to make a full blown graphic interface for a BBS. I remember GBBS and a couple of others did this. I might even still have the floppies around here for those BBS programs and the dialers. You should also look at any of the contact managers that would dial a number for you as well. Apple point blank stole this from earlier programs because people have already been trained that the picture of a phone or handset means to call or use telephone functions. Again not original or the first, so they never should have been given a patent, not to mention so obvious and not at all innovative.

    The settings icon of gears, once again Apple is not the first to use this. In fact they point blank stole this from earlier programs that used the gears icon for settings. The gears icon with gears interlocking and without gears interlocking have been used long before the iPhone, which is exactly why they used this icon because people had already been trained as to what it meant. Again not original or the first so

  • Re:A Tablet (Score:5, Informative)

    by Chrisq (894406) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @03:46AM (#37188552)

    So, A tablet in A movie, that doesn't look like the iPad or Galaxy Tab, is prior art?

    A movie is prior art at all? I guess the emphasis is on the word "art", not "prior".

    I think that is the sign that there really is no admissible prior art, eh?

    Well a waterbed patent was refused because of pior art in a Robert Heinlein novel [techrepublic.com] which described such a bed.

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