Talking Point Memo's Idea Lab points us to a novel legal argument by Samsung.
The Korean electronics maker is arguing that Apple has no right to its D'889 Patent on its iPad, because Stanley Kubrick showed off the idea in his 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Here's how Samsung puts it in the filing:
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 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQ8pQVDyaLo. 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.
And, indeed, this is the video they are referring to:
For argument's sake they could have pointed to Star Trek, which had a kind of iPad in the 1996 film First Contact:
And even in the television show:
Here's TPM with some background on the case:
Apple told the court this July that Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets infringe upon its patents, and its lawyers asked the court to stop Samsung from selling its line of Galaxy products in the United States.
Apple has also tried to block Samsung's entry into the tablet market in Europe and other countries around the world.