In a submission to the US District Court for the Northern District of California, Samsung attached a still image from the 1968 movie, which shows two astronauts having lunch on a black table with two tablet computers on their sides. The scene in the movie can be viewed on YouTube.
The entire text of the opposition has not been made public yet, as Samsung filed it under seal; however US-based blog Foss Patent reports the South-Korean electronic giant has resolved to cite Kubrick's 1968 movie as part of its defence strategy.
'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,' Samsung's lawyers explained in the declaration presented to the US court and reported by Foss Patent.
Apple - which launched its legal battle on April 15 seeking a preliminary injunction against Samsung's Galaxy S, Infuse 4G, Droid Charge and Galaxy Tab 10.1. - claims Samsung has infringed its intellectual property, by designing and producing the Galaxy tablets and smartphones with features of the iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone. It claims infringement of three design patents and one utility patent on 'list scrolling and document translation, scaling, and rotation on a touch-screen display".
Samsung - which denies the allegations and risks facing a ban of importation in both the US and EU - has reacted by suing Apple in six countries across three continents. It defends the existence of its Galaxy products on the basis of the right to competition.
Now, if the South-Korean manufacturer manages to establish Kubrick's tablet computers as a valid form of prior art, Apple may lose one of its patents and have a weaker case. However, citing a still image from Kubrick's 2001 is only part of the strategy elaborated by Samsung's legal team and chances are it won't have much relevance in the court battle.