2001: A Space Odyssey can't be used in Samsung-Apple trial

Nearly a year ago, Samsung tried to make the legal argument that Apple had stolen the design for its iPad tablet by looking at the electronic pads used by the astronauts in the 1968 classic sci-fi movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. It was a bit of a long shot, and today it seems that Samsung's efforts on that front have failed.

AllThingsD.com reports that Judge Lucy Koh has ruled that Samsung can't use the "taken from a movie" premise as an argument against Apple in the currently running trial between the two companies. The trial will continue on Friday with Apple Senior VP Phil Schiller scheduled to take the witness stand.

Samsung has certainly been creative in presenting its evidence to the jury, including a claim that Apple took the design of the iPhone from Sony. Judge Koh also ruled that Samsung could not present that viewpoint to the jury. Samsung later released that evidence to members of the media, which didn't make Apple's law team very happy. Judge Koh was also upset and demanded who at Samsung authorized the release of the evidence.

All in all, it doesn't sound like Samsung's law team and Judge Koh have got off on the right foot and it should be interesting to see how the trial moves forward with a lot of Samsung's arguments suppressed.

Source: AllThingsD.com | Image via MGM

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Voice of Buddy Christ said,
Samsung should feel lucky they didn't get their case summarily thrown out for that move.

That would be a good thing. Then finally they might get an unbiased judge like Posner instead of the iJudge Lucy Koh.

What kind of idiot permits patenting squares in the first place. Something as generic as breathing and yet you have to pay for it.

AllMac said,
What kind of idiot permits patenting squares in the first place. Something as generic as breathing and yet you have to pay for it.

It's the flawed patent system. The way it works is that you can patent whatever you want and they will approve it. If it comes a time that you sue someone, they leave to the courts and involved to prove the existence of prior art and if that is shown they invalidate the patent. Naturally, they do this to make as much money as possible and in return they create a mess of lawsuits and stifle innovation.

As we can see in this case.. when you have a biased and corrupt judge, they can dismiss examples of prior art that could play a significant role in the whole case, thus putting those who patented vague patents at an advantage over those who used the same ideas and built similar products.

Basically judge is the one who balances the case and leans towards one side.

Boz said,

It's the flawed patent system. The way it works is that you can patent whatever you want and they will approve it. If it comes a time that you sue someone, they leave to the courts and involved to prove the existence of prior art and if that is shown they invalidate the patent. Naturally, they do this to make as much money as possible and in return they create a mess of lawsuits and stifle innovation.

As we can see in this case.. when you have a biased and corrupt judge, they can dismiss examples of prior art that could play a significant role in the whole case, thus putting those who patented vague patents at an advantage over those who used the same ideas and built similar products.

Basically judge is the one who balances the case and leans towards one side.

I'm going to patent Dyson Spheres and FTL travel......

Warboy said,

I'm going to patent Dyson Spheres and FTL travel......

If you figure out how it needs to work and you make an engine that will work patent away.. however you cannot patent the concept of those 2 because they have already been shown. I don't understand why for some of you this is so hard to grasp.

It is equivalent of Apple not being allowed to get away with patenting the concept of a tablet, swipe to unlock, rectangle with rounded corners. They all should be invalidated. They can patent the CPU that runs that device that gives it a specific functionality, or memory and how it communicates with internals of the device. Unfortunately for them, most of their stuff is also "invented" by others and majority of it is by Samsung no less.

Boz said,

If you figure out how it needs to work and you make an engine that will work patent away.. however you cannot patent the concept of those 2 because they have already been shown. I don't understand why for some of you this is so hard to grasp.

Exactly, a lot of people posting here are getting confused between a design patent, and a technical patent. Using their own examples it would be like trying to patent the exterior appearance of a Startrek Warp reactor, not the actual internal physics, mechanics, circuitry, or software algorithms. That's what Apple's effectively doing, claiming ownership of the exterior design of something which has a plethora of prior art including 2001, Startrek TNG, and many others.

To put things in perspective.. Prior art is exactly this:


Prior art (also known as state of the art, which also has other meanings, or background art[1]), in most systems of patent law,[2] constitutes all information that has been made available to the public in any form before a given date that might be relevant to a patent's claims of originality. If an invention has been described in the prior art, a patent on that invention is not valid.

In order to anticipate a claim, prior art is generally expected to provide a description sufficient to inform an average worker in the field (or the person skilled in the art) of some subject matter falling within the scope of the claim. Prior art must be available in some way to the public, and in many countries, the information needs to be recorded in a fixed form somehow.

So denying the fact that these concepts that Apple is claiming have invented, have been public and shown their functionality (including voice commands with computers, tablets like iPad that were imagined over 4 decades ago), is pure bias and is VERY relevant to Apple's claim that Samsung and others have copied them.

You can't claim someone copies you when you copied someone else's idea. It doesn't work like that.

Apple has not invented anything. Throughout the history of company they have been looking at everyone's ideas, took them and then tried to execute them better. This is not innovation in the legal terms. Some may call it innovation but attention to detail and a great execution of an idea is not innovation when someone else came up with the idea you are implementing.

Boz said,
To put things in perspective.. Prior art is exactly this:


So denying the fact that these concepts that Apple is claiming have invented, have been public and shown their functionality (including voice commands with computers, tablets like iPad that were imagined over 4 decades ago), is pure bias and is VERY relevant to Apple's claim that Samsung and others have copied them.

You can't claim someone copies you when you copied someone else's idea. It doesn't work like that.

Apple has not invented anything. Throughout the history of company they have been looking at everyone's ideas, took them and then tried to execute them better. This is not innovation in the legal terms. Some may call it innovation but attention to detail and a great execution of an idea is not innovation when someone else came up with the idea you are implementing.

Except you keep missing the fact that you don't patent 'ideas', you patent implementations of ideas and in no way does the movie describe how these things would technically work.

Apple's patents for multi touch don't cover a broad idea of multi touch, they cover their specific implementation. It's the same reason why other people make photo copiers even though Xerox had a patent, because they found a different way to do it which didn't infringe on their implementation.

DomZ said,

Except you keep missing the fact that you don't patent 'ideas', you patent implementations of ideas and in no way does the movie describe how these things would technically work.

Apple's patents for multi touch don't cover a broad idea of multi touch, they cover their specific implementation. It's the same reason why other people make photo copiers even though Xerox had a patent, because they found a different way to do it which didn't infringe on their implementation.

You patent intellectual property. It doesn't have to be implemented, thus the notion of prior art. Apple can patent how a specific thing works inside their device, or the way they coded multi-touch gestures.. they can't patent gestures themselves when they have existed before.

To put it in simpler terms. They can patent the way certain things in their devices work, how their memory work and how their multitasking for example works.. they can't patent the concept of multi-tasking. So other people can also use multi-touch idea but the way they make them work on their devices needs to be done in their own way. Which is the point of a patent and has been for a long time.

Considering they are trying to patent minimalistic rectangle with rounded corners, swipe to unlock and other nonsense, those are certainly things that ANY judge who is unbiased would invalidate in an instant, such are the cases in Europe and some other places where these Apple patents have been thrown out.

Samsung is trying everything they can to win this case, but this idea as an evidence look like BS. LMAO..even people that dislike Apple can feel it...Samsung screw Samsung...

Master of Earth said,
Samsung is trying everything they can to win this case, but this idea as an evidence look like BS. LMAO..even people that dislike Apple can feel it...Samsung screw Samsung...

Yes, because Samsung should lose and not be allowed to sell their clearly stolen rectangle from Apple.

Samsung is trying to establish a case that Apples ideas are neither new, or really innovative. And that ideas for products are taken/borrowed/stolen from a wide variety of places.

I swear, Apple is acting like Samsung is the only company that has and ever will take ideas from others. They dont seem to realize that without this, that themselves, and most of what we have today, would not exist. Apple has borrowed/taken ideas from others as well but that doesnt seem to matter.

And there will be lots more to see in this case unfortunately. Regardless who wins/loses...there will be appeals and the trials will go on. And if Samsung loses, who cares. Lots of other companies Apple hasnt sued yet and lots of other options for users. Apple is not going to stop Android as much as they like to think they are.

Futuristic devices shown in movies are not patented. Simple as that.

So yeah, that means that you can go create a functioning Amnio Tank just like the (non functioning) one in Avatar and you won't get sued by James Cameron. Who'd have thought?

a0me said,
Futuristic devices shown in movies are not patented. Simple as that.

Prior art doesn't have to be patented. Especially if it was public. It just needs to show that the idea you are claiming you invented already existed and was thought out by someone else.

Which is why showing ideas from movies is completely valid way of showing where Apple's ideas come from and that they didn't think of it themselves, thus should invalidate their patents that claim they did.

Now, it all makes sense! 5 years of same old same old interface and 3 years of same old same old design and some new lame ads! Too busy suing and running around at the court instead of doing some real work. Good Job Apple!

MaSx said,
Now, it all makes sense! 5 years of same old same old interface and 3 years of same old same old design and some new lame ads! Too busy suing and running around at the court instead of doing some real work. Good Job Apple!

The funny thing is, Apple's UI wasn't new or inventive either. Many devices had that grid of icons, and launch bar look prior to the iPhone/iPad. As Steve Jobs said, good artists copy, great artists steal, and Apple certainly took that to heart. They haven't come up with a truly original idea in their entire history.

None of these issues are relevant to the current case. Apple is suing Samsung for copying them and violating their patents.. Just because Apple may or may not have copied it themselves is not relevant.. [ I stole from X, but X stole from Y so it's okay ? .. no, doesn't fly.. ]
Now they could argue that it invalidates Apples patents, but for the most part, for what ever reason, Samsung's lawyers haven't.. Probably because that wouldn't fly either..
As funny as it is to say, Apple did not patent the rectangle.. their design patents are not as vague as many like to claim, so a square with a tv picture isn't close to invalidating it.

This will fall on deaf ears to most, as they hate Apple, or are just misinformed by loads of comments from people who know nothing of patent law, or news stores by companies looking for views, not facts.. [ Apple patents the PS3 Controller anyone ? ]

Ryoken said,

...As funny as it is to say, Apple did not patent the rectangle.. their design patents are not as vague as many like to claim, so a square with a tv picture isn't close to invalidating it.

But their claim comes down to "it's rectangle with a screen" because Samsung products do not look like Apple products in any other regard. The edges on Samsung devices are different, the ratios are different, even the sizes are different. The buttons are different shapes. The only thing Apple has in its arsenal is "it's a rectangle with a screen". The only people who think Samsung devices look like Apple devices are the kinds of people who refer to generic tablets as iPads.

Why should it be Samsung's problem that the iPad has come to represent something so generic? That falls purely on Apple's shoulders as it's created a marketing campaign so powerful that it replaced the word tablet. Don't run around blaming other people for your own folly.

Ryoken said,
None of these issues are relevant to the current case. Apple is suing Samsung for copying them and violating their patents.. Just because Apple may or may not have copied it themselves is not relevant.. ]

Of course it's relevant.. jesus christ. It means that Apple didn't come up with this concept but saw it and used it and then patented it.

The whole point is that US patent system allows you to patent something even though there is prior art. Then, if you show that the same concept existed prior to you claiming you came up with it the patent is invalidated.

Of course these "issues" are relevant. Apple took all concepts they saw from these movies (tablets), voice commands and everything else and built products around them and then patented those same concepts while trying to prevent everyone else from using them.

It's VERY relevant. It shows that Apple didn't invent these ideas they merely copied them and built a product, just like anyone else can and did. Apple is not the only one who can claim to use these ideas in their products.

Then it's relevant for a DIFFERENT Legal case, cause that's not the argument Samsung made for half the stuff thrown out.. They didn't argue that the patents should be invalidated, that's the only time they can bring up prior art..

Also, you can't just decide to introduce new evidence after discovery is closed. Not in any legal cases, not without the Judge given the okay [ which only happens if you were only able to discover it yourself after Discovery was closed.. which again was not the case here ]..

Also, your understanding of Prior Art is flawed. I suggest you take some law classes, and quit reading law from someone who summarizes whole sections into a single tweet.


I get that you think it sucks, I also get that you have a hardon for hating Apple, but that doesn't make your views law. It just makes you another talking head on the internet without a clue in the world going on like he has a law degree and a vendetta. That's why almost no one takes you seriously in the threads anymore..

Hey, maybe you an AnderaBorman can team up?

Samsung have been utterly ridiculous with respect to their arguments thus far....they should just bow out before they are publicly denounced by the law, which seems a high probability right now!

So showing that every single idea used in an iPad comes from something they've seen on TV and has been inspiration to everyone is not admisible despite the claims that Apple invented all those ideas. Wow.. great stuff..

This judge is just showing more and more that she's completely out of this world. I wonder why? /s

Boz said,
So showing that every single idea used in an iPad comes from something they've seen on TV and has been inspiration to everyone is not admisible despite the claims that Apple invented all those ideas. Wow.. great stuff..

This judge is just showing more and more that she's completely out of this world. I wonder why? /s


Futuristic devices shown in movies are not patented. Simple as that.

So yeah, that means that you can go create a functioning Amnio Tank just like the (non functioning) one in Avatar and you won't get sued by James Cameron. Who'd have thought?

True colors? You sound like a fool. The judge is following THE LAW. There is a legal process called discovery and during this process both sides submit to the court all the evidence they intend to use. One of the purposes of this preliminary process is to give the opposing side a chance to organize any counter evidence they have for when the trial actually occurs.

There is a very clear deadline on the discovery process, and Samsung had MONTHS in this case, yet they did not submit the Sony evidence until after the deadline. And with with this space cadet evidence, they did present it but never indicated that they plan to use it to argue invalidity, thus still not giving Apple any chance to come up with counter evidence.

THAT is why the judge rejected both of these pieces. Because Samsung tried to **** with the court and never submitted it properly. It's right in her notes, if you care to read them.

Koh is clearly biased, or being paid off, any decisions she makes is usually in favour of Apple when other Judges dismiss a lot of Apples ridiculous claims.

Fry said,
True colors? You sound like a fool. The judge is following THE LAW. There is a legal process called discovery and during this process both sides submit to the court all the evidence they intend to use. One of the purposes of this preliminary process is to give the opposing side a chance to organize any counter evidence they have for when the trial actually occurs.

There is a very clear deadline on the discovery process, and Samsung had MONTHS in this case, yet they did not submit the Sony evidence until after the deadline. And with with this space cadet evidence, they did present it but never indicated that they plan to use it to argue invalidity, thus still not giving Apple any chance to come up with counter evidence.

THAT is why the judge rejected both of these pieces. Because Samsung tried to **** with the court and never submitted it properly. It's right in her notes, if you care to read them.

Ohhh that's right yes she is following the law... because obviously her best interest is to better the United States by limiting the import of several electronic goods for literally no reason (other than the corruption money that is). If you knew anything relating to world tech news you would understand that the US is the only country in which this campaign of Apple's has succeeded. Go anywhere else, like the UK, and you will notice that Apple have basically been sent running and the public effectively laugh at them.

The difference between other countries and the US is one thing. Lucy fuking Koh. She has never acted against Apple in anyway even though they are literally wasting tax payers money pursuing all these stupid "patent infringements".

Banning the import of items is very uncommon and usually only happens in the drug area. To think that technology items are banned under the same class as harmful pharmaceuticals is preposterous. It's way oo obvious Lucy but it doesn't matter because even if she does get removed or the cases are passed on to another judge, Apple has already gotten what they needed, to slow down the rapidly growing Android market.

Despicable, the legal system is there only to be abused by corruption.

a0me said,
Futuristic devices shown in movies are not patented. Simple as that.

I was under the impression that you can only patent "new & unique" ideas, anything that's been in the public domain in the past is not something you can claim as yours.

If apple have a patent on this then its clearly been granted under false pretenses, and if Samsung can show its not a new idea Apple have no leg to stand on.

This Lucy Koh is a total fool, and making a mockery of the US justice system

a0me said,

Futuristic devices shown in movies are not patented. Simple as that.

So yeah, that means that you can go create a functioning Amnio Tank just like the (non functioning) one in Avatar and you won't get sued by James Cameron. Who'd have thought?

Actually no.. it's prior art. If someone already came out with the concept of an idea you can't claim you invented it. It's very simple.

Boz said,

Actually no.. it's prior art. If someone already came out with the concept of an idea you can't claim you invented it. It's very simple.


You are aware that movies are work of fiction and that CG and special effects are not real, right?

If I'm wrong, feel free to point me to the patents for the Faster-Than-Light engine, light saber and electromagnetic shrink ray.

a0me said,

You are aware that movies are work of fiction and that CG and special effects are not real, right?

If I'm wrong, feel free to point me to the patents for the Faster-Than-Light engine, light saber and electromagnetic shrink ray.

What does that have to do with anything. Somebody who was working on a movie (most likely artists or guys who actually had a vision) came up with the concept and functionality of these devices shown in the movie or a TV show.

Now you go see it and you make a product that works exactly like that and you now can claim that you came up with the concept? Nonsense.

Read the definition of prior art to make it clearer to you.

And yes, if someone makes light saber and all the things you say you saw in the movie, they can't claim they invented it because they already saw it and got the idea from someone else which is the whole point of patenting. Protecting an idea.

Even the very definition of patent is the following: A patentis a form of intellectual property.

Keyword being intellectual property. That's why patent system was invented. So someone can't steal your idea but in order for you to get a patent, your idea has to be original.

that's clearly not the case with Apple.

ingramator said,
Lucy fuking Koh. She has never acted against Apple in anyway even though they are literally wasting tax payers money pursuing all these stupid "patent infringements".

You are an IDIOT. Apple tried to get Samsung's devices banned preliminarily all the way back in December and she denied it. Then she told both Apple and Samsung to cut the **** and ordered them to go to mediation before a Magistrate judge to try and avoid a full-blown trial. And after mediation failed, she told them both that she will not give them a trial this summer unless they both tone down the amount of infringement claims they made against each other significantly, which they did. Apple also tried to get the Galaxy SIII banned and she denied that. The Galaxy Tab that she banned, she banned after Samsung's own lawyers could not distinguish between it and an iPad in court easily. Go read a ****ing paper before mouthing off.

Edited by Fry, Aug 3 2012, 6:49am :

Boz said,

Actually no.. it's prior art. If someone already came out with the concept of an idea you can't claim you invented it. It's very simple.

Having a concept isn't enough. I could draw a concept of a flying car it doesn't mean that when someone figures out how to make it a reality they can't patent it!

The people who made the movie didn't figure out the technical aspects needed to make those tablets a reality, therefore its just an idea and an idea can't be patented. Specific implementations can be patented.

Boz said,

What does that have to do with anything. Somebody who was working on a movie (most likely artists or guys who actually had a vision) came up with the concept and functionality of these devices shown in the movie or a TV show.

Now you go see it and you make a product that works exactly like that and you now can claim that you came up with the concept? Nonsense.

Read the definition of prior art to make it clearer to you.

And yes, if someone makes light saber and all the things you say you saw in the movie, they can't claim they invented it because they already saw it and got the idea from someone else which is the whole point of patenting. Protecting an idea.

Even the very definition of patent is the following: A patentis a form of intellectual property.

Keyword being intellectual property. That's why patent system was invented. So someone can't steal your idea but in order for you to get a patent, your idea has to be original.

that's clearly not the case with Apple.


Fictional/artistic representations of inventions can only be used to invalidate design patents in very particular circumstances.
I'm sure that if you actually wanted to patent an actually working FTL engine, the patent office would grant it to you without a problem.

a0me said,

Fictional/artistic representations of inventions can only be used to invalidate design patents in very particular circumstances.
I'm sure that if you actually wanted to patent an actually working FTL engine, the patent office would grant it to you without a problem.

and Apple's claims are 90% design related.. They can't claim patents on what powers their devices because at least 50% of the stuff that powers their devices in them are using Samsung's technology and patents.

DomZ said,

Having a concept isn't enough. I could draw a concept of a flying car it doesn't mean that when someone figures out how to make it a reality they can't patent it!

The people who made the movie didn't figure out the technical aspects needed to make those tablets a reality, therefore its just an idea and an idea can't be patented. Specific implementations can be patented.

Considering that 90% of Apple's claims are vague and general concepts (aka rectangle with rounded corners) this is not an argument about the CPU or memory or how they work inside the device which is ironically "invented" again by Samsung considering Apple's hardware uses about 50% or more of Samsung hardware.

As you have said.. you can't claim you came up with the idea of a flying car. You can however patent a specific thing about how you created that flying car and you certainly can't say that every other flying car is copying you.

a0me said,

You are aware that movies are work of fiction and that CG and special effects are not real, right?

If I'm wrong, feel free to point me to the patents for the Faster-Than-Light engine, light saber and electromagnetic shrink ray.

But when you talk design, remember the actors were holding something physical. Something the ipad closely resembles. Whether it functioned or not is irrelevant.

TheLegendOfMart said,
Koh is clearly biased, or being paid off, any decisions she makes is usually in favour of Apple when other Judges dismiss a lot of Apples ridiculous claims.
Clearly we don't know exactly what's happening in the court, or what the legal process is when it comes to this kind of trial.

Snippets of news from this source or that can paint a very hazy picture of what is actually going on.

a0me said,

You are aware that movies are work of fiction and that CG and special effects are not real, right?

If I'm wrong, feel free to point me to the patents for the Faster-Than-Light engine, light saber and electromagnetic shrink ray.

That's different. The inner workings of such devices aren't explored in movies in detail, and that's what any patent would centre around not the external appearance, which is what Apple is claiming ownership over.

Apple's design patents are invalid, one only has to look at 2001 or Star Trek the next generation to see that. That's glaring prior art right there. But as is typical, Apple patents other people's work, then claims ownership of it.

Boz said,

And yes, if someone makes light saber and all the things you say you saw in the movie, they can't claim they invented it because they already saw it and got the idea from someone else which is the whole point of patenting. Protecting an idea.
.

By your understanding then, this whole argument is moot as the design samsung device is beat by Apple' Prior Art, and then by Star Treks, then by every futuristic Movie/cartoon Ever Made.

The is a diffrence bewettn a SciFi movie Prop and an actual device. Yes somebody can do a warp engine from star trek or a lightsaber, As long as the prop in question is not detailed on its use / assemby / and components. But if there is that much detail, its already got a patent by the creator of said movie / book / show.

a0me said,

Futuristic devices shown in movies are not patented. Simple as that.

But obvious inventions are not patentable.

A movie that has cult status within the technical community clearly demonstrates that a concept is beyond obvious.