2001: A Space Odyssey is one of my favorite movies—if not my favorite movie—which means this fills me with delight:
Apple is giving Samsung a legal pummeling because it thinks the latter stole the iPad's design for the Galaxy Tab. So far, the fight's going well for Apple. But Samsung has something up its sleeve: Apple ripped off science fiction.
Or so Samsung claims. Patent expert Florian Mueller noticed something odd in Samsung's American legal counteroffensive: they argue the idea for the iPad existed back in 1968, when Stanley Kubrick dreamed up his sci-fi classic. And in American patent law, if the idea existed before your patent application—what's known as prior art—your patent is null. So essentially, Samsung is pulling a hell of a legal maneuver here, alleging they couldn't possibly have stolen the iPad's design, because Apple took it from an imaginary science-fiction movie space station.
The only way this could get any better is if Samsung calls upon Uhura to testify. And if she reads her testimony off of this.