Samsung Cites 2001: A Space Odyssey As Prior Art For Tablet Design

from the dave,-i've-seen-that-before,-dave dept

In the ongoing silly patent battle between Apple and Samsung over the design of competing tablet computers, Samsung is pointing to some interesting prior art. It's claiming that the form factor was recognized well before Apple came up with the iPad design, by pointing to a clip from Stanley Kubrik's 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
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... 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.
Yeah, but without those "rounded corners..."


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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 12:15pm

    They could also point to the Kindle.

     

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      blaktron (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 12:40pm

      Re:

      Or Rodney's tablets in Star Gate Atlantis, or the PADD in Star Trek TNG, or the ACTUAL TABLET COMPUTERS that have been produced for the last 10 years that have been getting smaller and thinner, and shockingly rectangular... some of them are even black! my god!

       

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      Spaceboy (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 12:40pm

      Re:

      Or the Newton...oh wait...

       

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      TheStupidOne, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 12:42pm

      Re:

      or an Etch A Sketch

       

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      DannyB (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 1:24pm

      Re:

      Palm Pilot.

       

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      Chosen Reject (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 2:06pm

      Re:

      I took your suggestion to it's logical conclusion. Let's compare the images.

      iPad
      Kindle DX
      Xoom

      I kept aspect ratios the same (unlike Apple) and I tried to match the top-to-bottom sizes as best I could (I'm not a graphics guy).

      Now size comparisons:
      Xoom - 249.1 x 168.9 x 12.9
      Kindle DX - 264.2 x 182.9 x 9.7
      iPad - 241.2 x 185.7 x 8.8

      The iPad is both the shortest and the widest of the three. The Xoom and the Kindle almost exactly match.

      From this comparison, I think Amazon has prior art on Apple. Thus I conclude that if any are infringing, the Xoom and the iPad are both infringing on the Kindle. If the Xoom is similar enough to infringe on the iPad, then the iPad is similar enough to infringe on the Kindle DX. If Samsung loses, Amazon could go after both of them using the same arguments Apple used. In either case, Amazon definitely has prior art.

       

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      George Margolin, Aug 30th, 2011 @ 5:21pm

      Re: Poor Benighted Samsung's defenseless defense

      GUYS THIS COMMENT AND THE PICTURE ARE ABSOLUTE IDIOCY!

      Prior art in this case was a feature in a film by Kubrick – a film to which I contributed when I invented the Front Projection Background System
      For Sherman Fairchild and J.Arthur. Rank Films --- the producer of the Oddyssy.

      To call this prior are would be the same as calling CUNIAFORM TABLETS PRECURSORS TO THE IPAD. Same shape, after all. And you could write On it as well.
      Also – I have often used the Dick Tracy Wristwatch communicator as another example of a CONCEPT – but NOT PRIOR ART.

      In fact – Science Fiction – by the terms of Samsung – actually a good company with seemingly doltish lawyers – have thousands of Prescient concepts – but these too ARE NOT PRIOR ART – unless, of course they disclose – in full, followable detail HOW to construct
      The FTL (Faster than light) systems they talk about. And I would LOVE AN TI GRAVITY BELT. I guess talking about it and even describing It would make it Prior Art. But until you show me how you made it so I – Someone skilled in the art – could make it -- It won’t be prior art.

      So Quit this nonsense – Samsung. You’re too good a company to espouse this foolish defense.

      But if you DARE create and Electronic Cuneiform tablet --- I might be in the market for one for use with the Hittite poem I’m writing for Hamurabi.
      Which, of course, I would deliver with my TIME MACHINE!

      George Margolin
      PATENTOR@GMAIL.COM.

       

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    Prashanth (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 12:43pm

    I think it's pretty clear at this point that Samsung thinks as much of software patents as Google does — that is to say, not much at all. Citing this movie as prior art for the tablet form factor seems to me to be as silly, if not more so, than Google's recent patent bid of US$pi billion. I'm not saying that Samsung shouldn't be so silly; I'm saying this should tip off any reasonable person that something is seriously wrong with the patent system when electronics companies are pushed to these lengths to defend their products against trolls (and here I am including Apple).

     

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      E. Zachary Knight (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 12:50pm

      Re:

      This is a software patent. This is a design patent. Samsung is rightly arguing that the tablet form factor is not something that Apple created and should have sole ownership of.

      There is nothing unique about Apple's iPhone and iPad design that should warrant blocking others from using it.

       

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        Ninja (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 1:05pm

        Re: Re:

        That. Apple seems to think making something rectangular is design and can be patented. Srsly? My 1 yr old cousin can do it right. Does Jobs have a 1 yr old cousin btw?

         

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          DannyB (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 1:30pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          You are wrong sir! This is rectangular with rounded corners. Even more amazing is the arrangement of icons in a grid, that's icons in a grid I tell you!

          Don't you think that Apple should be owed $BILLIONS of dollars for those valuable design insights? If not, then you must be a freetard.

          Without design patents on such basic concepts as rectangles and rounded corners, others such as Samsung will be able to come along and charge lower prices. How is Apple supposed to maintain their profit margins if they can't protect their valuable IP?

           

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        Prashanth (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 1:33pm

        Re: Re:

        Sorry about that. Yeah, they are certainly different, but they're also similar in the way that such patents are interpreted in ways that are way too broad and ultimately inconsistent with the purpose of patents.
        Maybe I should have referred to the class of patents including software, design, and business methods, instead of just software. But I think the rest of my point still stands: Samsung and Google are both doing this to point out the silliness of such patents.

         

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          blaktron (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 1:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I think its more that apple is terrified that the same business model it tried with the Mac and failed with in the 90s will, shockingly, fail the same way again... so they decided to litigate on the silliest issues possible in order to protect their unsustainable business model.

           

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            Vincent Clement (profile), Aug 24th, 2011 @ 4:41am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            With a big pile of cash just sitting there waiting to be use, it literally costs Apple nothing to litigate. Now, if you don't have a pile of cash, it will cost you to litigate against Apple.

             

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 1:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          So wait....you're saying that Samsung and Google might be fighting a sham legal battle, where they're both trying to set a precedent that rules against absurd software patents?

          Clearly, either Google and Samsung are trying to make a parody of a software patent lawsuit to point out how silly the whole system has become, or the system has become so silly that this sort of thing actually makes sense in context. Honestly, I'm not sure which would trouble me more.

           

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            Prashanth (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 4:30pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I'm not sure I understood the first part of your statement, but basically, yes, I'm saying that Samsung and Google are making a mockery of the major patents being fought over in the software/electronics industry (or whatever industry of which Samsung and Google are members).

             

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        Danii Oliver, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 3:44am

        Re: Design patient

        It's funny they are arguing over the tablet design. Apple is not gonna be the only tablet maker jus like Ford wasn't the only car maker. If Ford fought and won a case like this we would have nissian, honda, lexus, cadillac etc. It's silly and Apple needs to back of. I had a tablet PC way before Apple came out with the iPad and Modbook was turning MACs into tablets since before 2007 approx because Apple didn't want to do it.

        SMH at the fact that Apple is lazy about innovations then steals others ideas and tries to claim as their own. Tisk-tisk Apple.

         

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        Danii Oliver, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 3:44am

        Re: Design patient

        It's funny they are arguing over the tablet design. Apple is not gonna be the only tablet maker jus like Ford wasn't the only car maker. If Ford fought and won a case like this we would have nissian, honda, lexus, cadillac etc. It's silly and Apple needs to back of. I had a tablet PC way before Apple came out with the iPad and Modbook was turning MACs into tablets since before 2007 approx because Apple didn't want to do it.

        SMH at the fact that Apple is lazy about innovations then steals others ideas and tries to claim as their own. Tisk-tisk Apple.

         

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    Spade, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 1:02pm

    Yes, but…

    …this only highlights a rather glaring flaw in Samsung's line of argument.

    With so many different science fictional precedents for an iPad-like device (including those in 2001, Star Trek, Babylon 5, Stargate, etc., etc.), how is it that Samsung's versions just so happened to almost exactly copy the look and feel of Apple's specific variations on the tablet computer motif?

    You'd think with so many varied antecedents to work from, they'd have been able to come up with something a bit more unique.

     

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      Ninja (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 1:08pm

      Re: Yes, but…

      I can difference iPad from Galaxy Tab miles away from them... Srsly, there is nothing in common aside rectangular shape with rounded corners. Actually, rounded corners are just obligatory for it considering you use it close to your body. Spiky edges could hurt you know? And that's one other argument pro-Samsung.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 1:10pm

      Re: Yes, but…

      Everything has that look and feel because they're all tablets, that's what makes them tablets.

       

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        Spade, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 1:18pm

        Re: Re: Yes, but…

        "Everything" does, eh? http://twitpic.com/67ykpa

        By your logic, then, Microsoft should already have been enjoying runaway iPad-like success in the market. After all, Microsoft made tablets pre-iPad, as shown in that image.

        So if just being a tablet is what it takes to be successful, why didn't it work for Microsoft? Clearly, because the variations they were producing on the tablet form factor *didn't* have the correct look and feel, and Apple's did. And now that Apple's figured it out, everyone wants to copy Apple's variation on the tablet.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 1:27pm

          Re: Re: Re: Yes, but…

          Most tablets in the past failed because of clunky software and poor touch screen interfaces using styluses. I think it is a bit short sighted to suggest its all about what it looks like. Indeed many people will be influenced by how it looks but I believe the success of the iPad is mainly due to the fact that its software is just a scaled up version of ios from the iPhone, which many people deemed to be simple and intuitive. And of course its shiny and has an Apple on the box ;)

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 1:31pm

          Re: Re: Re: Yes, but…

          Apple's success is primarily due to the ease of use of the software and the app store, not the physical shape of the pad.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 2:08pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Yes, but…

            Bullshit, the only feature that I care about are whether or not the edges are round.

             

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          MrWilson, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 1:58pm

          Re: Re: Re: Yes, but…

          Are you suggesting that making tablets thinner and easier to use with maximized touch screen size aren't obvious design developments?

           

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          Richard (profile), Aug 24th, 2011 @ 1:35am

          Re: Re: Re: Yes, but…

          All that the iPad had was timing - they picked the right moment to launch when the underlying technology reached a critical point of usability.

          The progression you show would have happened anyway - Apple or no Apple.

          (and btw the main difference your picture shows seems to be landscape->portrait !)

           

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          Idleman, Aug 24th, 2011 @ 1:42am

          Re: Re: Re: Yes, but…

          Am I grossly misrepresenting your argument if I say that by your logic, Apple perfected Microsoft's original idea to make it usable and profitable? If so, why does it matter that Apple succeeded where others failed? Did they not "copy" the idea to make a thin computer with a dominant touch screen?

          I believe Apple's success is due to the software design of the iPhone and later iPad. They featured a specialized UI with big buttons and control elements that could be pushed or dragged with a finger, unlike the tiny control elements that had appeared in phones and tablets before that were adapted for mice. That's the real genius of their innovation, that other companies had failed to implement. (Of course, the standard sci-fi tablet does have big, square buttons.)

           

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            indieThing (profile), Aug 24th, 2011 @ 3:57am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Yes, but…

            Of course, completely forgetting (or not bothering to do the research) that other touch screen smartphones existed before the iPhone. e.g. the LG Prada.

             

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              JayTee (profile), Aug 24th, 2011 @ 4:06am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Yes, but…

              even before the prada my LG Viewty had a grid layout of icons, anyone who claims that apple revolutionized the world of smartphone menu's with their grid design is in a fantasy world

               

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            JayTee (profile), Aug 24th, 2011 @ 4:03am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Yes, but…

            I don't really think making icons larger for a larger screen can be classed as "genius of their innovation".

            If so Microsoft took that crown years ago

             

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              mirshafie (profile), Aug 24th, 2011 @ 2:12pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Yes, but…

              I admit that I don't have much knowledge here, but as far as I can tell Microsoft and other tablet manufacturers did not adapt their UI enough to make them usable with anything but a stylus before the iPhone arrived.

              They did not even seem to be interested in eliminating the stylus: Wikipedia states that the term "pen-based" was used to define tablet PCs by Microsoft and others.

              If I'm wrong, please enlighten me.

               

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      DannyB (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 1:36pm

      Re: Yes, but…

      > how is it that Samsung's versions just so happened
      > to almost exactly copy the look and feel of Apple's
      > specific variations on the tablet computer motif?

      First off, Samsung didn't. Apple has altered the pictures to make it look more like Samsung did. We're talking about rectangular tablets with rounded corners, and icons arranged in a grid.

      But I would also ask you this. How is it that automobile manufacturers also copy each other? They all have four wheels, a hood, a trunk and a steering wheel? There are variations like 2 or 4 doors, but even those variations are copied. How can this abuse be allowed!?!

      Televisions all seem to have a front that is predominantly covered by the screen. They all are generally rectangular. This stealing of design ideas is even worse with today's flat screen TV's compared to the variations in the old CRT televisions. Almost all modern flat screen TVs are virtually indistinguishable from one another unless you get up close.

      And don't get me started on the horrific IP design abuse in pocket calculators. Or oven mits -- OMG, they all have five, yes five! fingers!

       

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        blaktron (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 1:55pm

        Re: Re: Yes, but…

        Where did this oven mitt analogy come from, and before using it had anyone actually LOOKED at an oven mitt? Oven mitts have 0 fingers, not 5. They have 1 thumb section (i guess a finger) and one large mitten section to house 4 fingers. Wow guys, less time on the computer, more in the kitchen (even just watching...)

         

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          Joe Publius (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 2:06pm

          Re: Re: Re: Yes, but…

          I was going to say that, my old oven mitt is more like a flipper with a thumb. I suggest changing over to those kevlar and aramid weave "ove' gloves". Much easier to grab stuff when you have all five fingers.

           

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          DannyB (profile), Aug 24th, 2011 @ 6:43am

          Re: Re: Re: Yes, but…

          I made it up on the fly. I posted it here and in one other forum.

          Good point. I should probably alter the analogy to be gloves instead.

           

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        Spade, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 1:57pm

        Re: Re: Yes, but…

        Tablets, before and after the iPad: http://twitpic.com/67ykpa

        http://thisismynext.com/2011/04/19/apple-sues-samsung-analysis/

        Trad emarks and trade dress are all about protecting consumers from being deceived in the marketplace — the idea is to clearly indicate the source of a product or service. […]

        Trade dress law is well-established, and Apple itself has a history of successfully pursuing trade dress claims in the Northern District of California. In 2000 the company sued both eMachines and a company called Future Power for knocking off the iMac’s trade dress, winning injunctions in both cases and eventually getting extremely restrictive settlements that effectively removed the infringing products from the marketplace. […]

        […] there’s no question in my mind that Samsung designed TouchWiz to look and feel as much like iOS as possible, and then marketed it as such. (More than one of my friends has come back from a Verizon store with a Fascinate having been told that it’s “basically the same as an iPhone.”)

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 2:30pm

          Re: Re: Re: Yes, but…

          "(More than one of my friends has come back from a Verizon store with a Fascinate having been told that it’s “basically the same as an iPhone.”)"

          thats how you sell new technology to people who don't understand what they are talking about. A smartphone is like an iphone or a tablet is like an ipad.

          I had a person ask me for a google iphone back when I worked for best buy. I didn't work in the phone department and when I told the guys about it they said it happens everyday. People who don't understand the terminology think that iphone=smartphone or ipad=tablet and don't see the difference. Apple is to technology as band-aid is to adhesive strips.

           

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            DannyB (profile), Aug 24th, 2011 @ 6:45am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Yes, but…

            Yes, that happens. It has nothing to do with design patents. But it might have to do with trademark.

            More specifically, Apple's trademarks may become too successful. Think Kleenex, Band-Aid, Kool-Aid, Xerox, Nylon, Aspirin, and many others. These lost their trademark protection because they became generic terms.

             

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 2:10pm

        Re: Re: Yes, but…

        oven Mits don't have fingers (oven gloves might though) ;)

         

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        Joe, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 8:34pm

        Re: Re: Yes, but…

        Actually, an oven mit does not have five fingers, your fingers are in the same enclosure with a separate one for the thumb...hence the name oven 'mit'.

        OK...I've indulged my OCD, I'm not proud about it, but it's done. I'll be going now.

         

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    PRMan, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 1:03pm

    Or Star Wars...

    Or the boardroom scene in Star Wars (1977)...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 1:04pm

    wonder if Hollywood gonna sue apple into non-existence now?

     

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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 1:15pm

    Copyright troll

    I sure hope Samsung got the rights to print that picture from the movie...damn pirates!

     

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    btr1701 (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 1:19pm

    Movies

    So does this mean if anyone ever does invent an instantaneous transportation device, they can't patent it because it was in Star Trek first?

     

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      Krish (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 1:23pm

      Re: Movies


      So does this mean if anyone ever does invent an instantaneous transportation device, they can't patent it because it was in Star Trek first?


      No... but it does mean it'll be hard for them to sue someone for also making a device that looks just like the teleporter from Star Trek.

       

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      RD, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 1:28pm

      Re: Movies

      "So does this mean if anyone ever does invent an instantaneous transportation device, they can't patent it because it was in Star Trek first?"

      In the ownership society we live in, that the inventors/artists lobbied to change the laws to ever-more-increasing restrictions, the answer is yes.

      They made this bed, they get to lie in it. Too late to whine about it now, you had your chance to NOT push for things to be this bad, this restricted. The arrow points both ways here, so whats good for the goose is good for the gander.

       

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      blaktron (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 1:49pm

      Re: Movies

      They wouldn't be able to make it look exactly like a transporter pad and then patent the look on it, no.... seeing as thats all were talking about in Apple vs Samsung.

       

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    AudibleNod (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 1:22pm

    Prior Art in Art

    If this gets pushed through then all fiction could invalidate patents as prior art. All anyone would have to do is to create some work of fiction and briefly explain a device. Everything from holodecks to laser firing wrist watches to shoe phones would be off limits when they get invented.

     

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      Dave, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 1:31pm

      Re: Prior Art in Art

      Hooray! We've saved the future!

       

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      DannyB (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 1:43pm

      Re: Prior Art in Art

      That sounds like a good plan to me.

      If it is so darn obvious that a fiction writer thinks of it as an element of a story, then it is pretty darn obvious.

      Complaining about rectangular tablet designs is like complaining that your oven mits infringe on the design of my oven mits, because yours also have five fingers.

      If the design is that obvious, and basically functional, then it should not be patentable. To qualify for a design patent, it needs to bring something really unique and innovative. You can't just claim that because you picked the obvious functional design (like most sink faucets) that nobody else can build one. Now you could design a highly unique sink faucet whose design goes way beyond basic function. But that's not what Apple did.

       

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        blaktron (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 1:51pm

        Re: Re: Prior Art in Art

        I've never seen an oven mitt with 5 fingers........

         

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        Spade, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 1:56pm

        Re: Re: Prior Art in Art

        If it is so darn obvious that a fiction writer thinks of it as an element of a story, then it is pretty darn obvious.

        So, wait - you're saying science fiction writers shouldn't be given credit for their level of ingenuity in imagining how things might look in the future? I have rather a lot of friends who would disagree with you quite strongly about that.

        If the design is that obvious, and basically functional, then it should not be patentable. […] You can't just claim that because you picked the obvious functional design (like most sink faucets) that nobody else can build one.

        "Obvious" - you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means: http://twitpic.com/67ykpa

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 2:41pm

          Re: Re: Re: Prior Art in Art

          you keep using this image and I can only imagine that Apple made it since it leaves out a whole bunch of tablets that look like the ipad and the windows tablets have no icons on them, since they would be in a grid pattern if they did.

          image search for tablet pc results from - 1990-2009:
          http://www.google.com/search?q=tablet+pc&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=Oez&r ls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=ivnsur&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&biw=803&bih=458& ;um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi

           

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          DannyB (profile), Aug 24th, 2011 @ 6:58am

          Re: Re: Re: Prior Art in Art

          > So, wait - you're saying science fiction writers
          > shouldn't be given credit for their level of
          > ingenuity in imagining how things might look
          > in the future?

          No. I am not saying that.

          I am saying that those authors should not be able to get a design patent on fiction, and then eventually, perhaps in their lifetime, be able to prevent others from inventing the realization of their idea.


          > "Obvious" - you keep using that word. I do not think
          > it means what you think it means:

          I do know what it means. In the functional sense, obvious would be a glove having five fingers. That's not ingenuity, that's purely functional. Any chair is going to have certain characteristics in order to perform its basic function. (There are some highly unusual almost counter examples -- but those would obviously qualify for a design patent.) Someone might design a highly unusual chair, but their design patent should not preclude others from making chairs.

          Your twitpic shows examples of Windows tablets. Microsoft tried unsuccessfully to sell tablets with Windows for a decade and failed. Why? Because Windows isn't a tablet OS. iOS is. Android is. WebOS is (although its not selling). What is the common, basic feature of a tablet: it doesn't need a bunch of hardware buttons. The handle isn't a half bad idea in some cases, and I would argue that as the market enlarges we might see some designs like that.

          Have you seen the tablets used in a number of Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes? They are all a rectangle with slightly rounded corners dominated by a front screen and no buttons. Thinner bezel. Gray plastic instead of black. I would argue that the basic design is purely functional.

           

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          DannyB (profile), Aug 24th, 2011 @ 7:04am

          Re: Re: Re: Prior Art in Art

          In response to your picture, I would refer you to some of the other pictures that look quite similar to iPad, but were many years before iPad.

          So clearly, you're picture is quite selective in its choice of "before" iPad designs.

          Two of the other images posted by others in this thread should clearly establish that the design Apple is claiming is functional rather than artistic.

           

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      Michael Whitetail, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 1:58pm

      Re: Prior Art in Art

      This has nothing to do with prior art, and everything to do with how obvious the casing design is.

      What Samsung is trying to say, is that this form factor was obvious to people 30 years ago!

      Tablet computers were seen as being a rectangle predominantly covered by a screen, with narrow borders, and a thin profile. That this was the vision in art for over 30 years goes far to show just how obvious and unpatentable the form really is.

      These basic attributes should be in no way patentable, or locked to 1 company. Forcing licensing or prohibiting the use of such basic shaps as a thin rectangle would do irreperable harm to the market.

       

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        Spade, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 2:03pm

        Re: Re: Prior Art in Art

        Yes, it's so "obvious" that somehow all of the real-world pre-iPad tablets looked *nothing* like the iPad and its imitators today: http://twitpic.com/67ykpa

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2011 @ 3:30pm

        Re: Re: Prior Art in Art

        Wait a minute... this design infringes on my patented quadrilateral with non-square corner design....

        Where's my licensing fee of $1,000,000 per tablet. This was a tough design to come up with 35 years ago, but I arranged some square and rounded wooden blocks in this rough arrangement and called it a 'con-pewter' (credit for the name to Piers Anthony), then proceeded to push the 'gridlike' arrangement of blocks/icons and act like I was doing something productive (at 4 years old, what do you expect?)

        I'm sure the old home movie of this design would qualify as 'prior art' and ....

        ALL YOUR TABLETS ARE BELONG TO US.....

         

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      JEDIDIAH, Aug 24th, 2011 @ 11:38am

      Re: Prior Art in Art

      > If this gets pushed through then all fiction could invalidate patents as prior art.

      You mean like what has already happened with Clarke and Heinlein?

       

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      Onnala (profile), Aug 24th, 2011 @ 12:08pm

      Re: Prior Art in Art

      Not quite true. What it does is show prior art for the idea. AKA, the ipad as an idea for a tablet computer has been around for 40 years but the way you implement a touch screen can be patented.

       

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    slick8086, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 1:48pm

    is it just me???

    Am I the only one who is dying to try that new BROWN paste he has on his tray? Man I'm so tired of those TAN pastes and don't get me started about that yellow paste I mean do you really expect me to believe there was ever something called a "banana" sheesh.

     

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      Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 3:33pm

      Re: is it just me???

      If you remember, in Brazil, they put pictures of actual 20th-century food stuck into the mounds of paste. So, in 2001, they’ve got rid of the pictures and kept the paste; would that mean that, fictitiously-chronologically speaking, the events of Twenty-Oh-One take place before or after those of Brazil?

       

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    Joe Publius (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 2:14pm

    You know what would be a handy invention?

    Something to keep my eyes from rolling out of my head whenever patent lawsuits start using phrases like "look and feel".

    Design patents just feel redundant to me. Isn't it enough that they can just slap a trademarked element to brand the product? Dickering over the curvature of edges and knob/button/icon shapes is the height of stupidity.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 2:14pm

    Forget the tablets...

    Someone needs to bring up a suit on laptops! Surely 14/15/17 inch screens and a keyboard means that whoever created those first has dibs on prior art for the design.

     

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    HothMonster, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 2:44pm

    You know what Apple did invent though? Adding a proprietary port that only hooks up to an adapter that turns it into a standard port. Now that's some genius level innovation

     

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    Jose Frio, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 2:48pm

    This pic says it all

    I can't believe there are still ppl that don't think EVERYONE except AAPL copied Apple....really?

    This pic says it all.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 3:24pm

    Before iPad there was ModBook

    Apple Tablet?
    Axiotron did it in 2007
    http://www.axiotron.com/index.php?id=home

     

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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 3:40pm

    Apple And Rounded Corners Go Way Back

    There’s a story about the development of the original early-1980s Macintosh which, if you remember, was running a GUI at full interactive speeds on a 16-bit processor with a nominal speed of 8MHz. The principal mastermind behind the QuickDraw graphics engine that was at its heart was Bill Atkinson. Among the graphics primitives that QuickDraw offered, besides the usual text, lines and rectangles, were ellipses and rounded-corner rectangles. But Atkinson was thinking of dropping rounded-corner rectangles to save a bit of memory.

    Steve Jobs objected to this. He took Atkinson out into the Apple parking lot, and pointed to lots of objects with rounded-corner-rectangle shapes to them, to show how useful such a drawing primitive could be. So Atkinson relented, and kept those shapes in QuickDraw.

    Sudden thought: I wonder what objects Jobs pointed to, and whether any of them could be used as prior art...

     

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    John Sokol (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 5:02pm

    He also invented Facetime!

    If you notice in the image, he's having a video conference.

    It's amazing how close Arthur C. Clarke called it.

    The computer is a cloud made from blade servers, too.

     

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      DogBreath, Aug 24th, 2011 @ 11:50am

      Re: He also invented Facetime!

      Sci-Fi has many examples of prior art: another good one is when Space:1999 invented the Smartphone with their "Commlock", back in the 70's.

      I'd love to see prior art ideas from Science Fiction invalidate a ton of patents. Since you don't have to actually invent a working product to get a patent, just "propose a method", lock it up and sue anyone who dares to think of the same obvious thing.

       

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    pjcamp (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 6:05pm

    Steve

    I wonder if Steve Jobs violates the copyright on Hal 9000?

     

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    Andrew D. Todd, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 7:11pm

    Way, Way Back.

    Actually, that kind of thing goes back to the French artist, Albert Robida, circa 1880. Robida was a contemporary of Jules Verne. Jules Verne, of course, is generally considered the founding father of science fiction, unless you favor the claims of Cyrano De Bergerac, back in the 1650's.

    http://www.terramedia.co.uk/Chronomedia/years/Edison_Telephonoscope.htm

    http://en.wiki pedia.org/wiki/Albert_Robida

    http://crookedtimber.org/2009/05/13/futures-past-change-you-can-beli eve-in/

    http://www.questiontechnology.org/blog/2009/03/the-end-of-books-by-uzanne-and-robida.html

    http://telephonoscope.com/2009/07/10/looking-back-looking-ahead/

     

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    disfit (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 9:25pm

    Yeah, but without those "rounded corners..."

    I'll admit that I have not researched it, but it would be my guess that rounded corners where 'invented' prior to the wheel.

     

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    G Thompson (profile), Aug 24th, 2011 @ 2:19am

    I have a feeling that when Samsung opened the patent infringement brief by Apple, they too had an epiphany like Dave did and stated quite simply.

    "OH My Gawd... it's full of Assholes"

     

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    MAC, Aug 24th, 2011 @ 5:55am

    No Angels...

    Apple 'stole' the entire mouse driven interface from XEROX.

    Let me repeat that, "Apple stole the entire mouse driven interface from XEROX."

    So, what right do they have to bitch?

     

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    Vic Kley, Aug 24th, 2011 @ 1:08pm

    IP abuser Apple's Secret IP Policy

    Jobs defines the Apple IP policy.

    He states clearly to any competitor

    I Pee on your design!

    And he means it!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2011 @ 1:56pm

    I was thinking the same thing the other day about Star Trek TNG

    And the corners on those touch screen pads are rounded :)

     

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    techflaws.org (profile), Aug 24th, 2011 @ 10:24pm

    Attached hereto as Exhibit D is a true and correct copy of a still image

    Read: "hey judge, we just want to point out, that we don't need to photoshop evidence to get our point across".

     

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    George Margolin, Aug 26th, 2011 @ 2:48pm

    A PICTURE OF THE TIRE IS NOT THE INVENTION OFATIRE.

    George is right except for a design patent.

    That is where the thing patented is the type of rectangle, its thickness and other stylistic elements these can be design patented but not when there is a clear design with the same or similar intended function in the public domain.

    The model for the Edsel is another clear example. that Edsel body shape, windows and puckered nose does not have to run down the road to be a design. Does not have to move at all or even be more then the drawings necessary to define the design.

    So is the issue Apple is pursuing function, design and function or just design?


    On Aug 25, 2011, at 10:16 PM, George Margolin wrote:


    GUYS THIS COMMENT AND THE PICTURE ARE ABSOLUTE IDIOCY!

    Prior art in this case was a feature in a film by Kubrick – a film to which I contributed when I invented the Front Projection Background System
    For Sherman Fairchild and J.Arthur. Rank Films --- the producer of the Oddessy.

    To call this prior are would be the same as calling CUNIAFORM TABLETS PRECURSORS TO THE IPAD. Same shape, after all. And you could write
    On it as well.
    Also – I have often used the Dick Tracy Wristwatch communicator as another example of a CONCEPT – but NOT PRIOR ART.

    In fact – Science Fiction – by the terms of Samsung – actually a good company with seemingly doltish lawyers – have thousands of
    Prescient concepts – but these too ARE NOT PRIOR ART – unless, of course they disclose – in full, followable detail HOW to construct
    The FTL (Faster than light) systems they talk about. And I would AN LOVE ANTI GRAVITY BELT. I guess talking about it and even describing
    It would make it Prior Art. But until you show me how you made it so I – Someone skilled in the art – could make it --
    It won’t be prior art.

    So Quit this nonsense – Samsung. You’re too good a company to espouse this foolish defense.

    But if you DARE create and Electronic Cuneiform tablet --- I might be in the market for one for use with the Hittite poem I’m writing for Hamurabi.
    Which, of course, I would deliver with my TIME MACHINE!

    George Margolin
    PATENTOR@GMAIL.COM.

     

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    jumvah, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 4:02am

    Still going...

    ...and here we are, a year further on, and it still continues.
    Courts around the world have either thrown both Samsung and Apple's cases out, or apportioned blame equally.
    Except the US, which decided that Samsung was entirely to blame.
    Mockery of patent laws. It's not as if Apple haven't done this before with absurd patents. Apple have US patents on plenty of stuff that has been in common use around the world for years before Apple even existed.
    See this....
    http://youtu.be/wFeC25BM9E0

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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