Copy right is a complex issue, and is often missused to rather claim unique features / unique selling points against competitors, than to protect intellectual propperty.
Samsung and Apple are fighting about the copy right of the iPads and Samsungs tablet the Galaxy Tabs design, about the USP of a flat, rectangle tablet device. Which is stupid, as there will not be any cube shaped ones… Apple claims the design, as they were the first to launch such a device, but now Samsung has returned fire.
While the actual document is sealed at the moment, one of the non-sealed exhibits Samsung is using to go up against Apple, cites Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film “2001: A Space Odyssey” as clear evidence that tablets were an idea long before Apple’s 2004 patent design:
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 athttp://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.
Along with the mention of Kubrick, the Samsung filing cites a scene from the 1970s British TV series “The Tomorrow People” depicting a tablet computer as prior art:
A tablet being used in the 1970s British TV series “The Tomorrow People.”