The First Tablet

Stanley Kubrick, and writer Arthur C. Clarke, can be credited with having 'invented' the iPad2 in their depiction of tablet-style devices in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Samsung has recently offered an still image of a clip from Kubrick's film in its defence of a US ‘patent’ lawsuit brought against it by Apple. The clip depicts a tablet-like device being used by astronauts. While the astronauts are eating, they are receiving orders from their Captain through the screen. According to Samsung, if Apple cannot actually claim credit as the original designer of the slimline form of its iPad2, it cannot maintain a valid design patent registration. 

If the court finds that the Space Odyssey tablets are sufficiently similar in appearance to Apple’s design, it will be of no advantage for Apple to object that the movie tablets are fictional. The props were most likely real – though, presumably, non-functional. If Apple cannot claim to be the original designer, the Court-case will be 'closed'.

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