Was Apple's ipad modelled on a device seen in Kubrick's "2001 Odyssey" (screened in... 1968!)? Intriguing question, considering the wealth of devices/technology we've seen over the years in sci-fi films... A couple of months ago Apple filed a motion to stop Samsung from selling its Galaxy Tablet based on patents that the Apple holds. In a surprising twist, Samsung filed an opposition claiming that Apple's ipad was modelled on the visual tablets seen in the "2001 Odyssey", which legally constitute "prior art". Legally, prior art is information that has been disclosed to the public in any form about an invention before a given date that might be relevant to the patent's claim of originality (wikipedia). Here's the photo: And a video: You have to admit these do look a lot like Apple's ipads! Samsung explains: "As with the design claimed by the Dâ€™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." I think it will be worth keeping an eye on this lawsuit! In the meantime, it's be interesting to hear other forum member's opinions about the notion of sci-fi prior art. Also can you think of any other devices / designs / technology that was first shown in films only to be "invented" or "designed" decades later?