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Samsung's Space Odyssey in court

Apple and Samsung are getting even pettier with their patent war, and the judge is getting fed up with it.

Judge Lucy Koh took advantage of a day off from listening to the two in court to issue rulings that re-define the boundaries around Samsung’s arguments that they didn’t infringe on Apple’s iPad design or that Apple didn't have the rights to the design in the first place.

Samsung appears to have crossed the line with their argument that Apple lifted it from the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey.” In a scene from the 1968 film, astronauts are eating and using personal tablet computers. Samsung argues that Apple got the idea for the iPad from that scene.

According to Samsung, the tablet in the movie “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.” That describes an iPad alright.

Samsung responded to Judge Koh’s statements with a press release that said, “Samsung was not allowed to tell the jury the full story and show the pre-iPhone design for that and other phones that were in development at Samsung in 2006, before the iPhone. The excluded evidence would have established beyond doubt that Samsung did not copy the iPhone design”.

Apple and Samsung are back in court today. We’ll see whether they’re paying any attention to Judge Lucy, and are ready to get back to the point.

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