In a remarkable and near-amusing turn of events, Stanley Kubrick's movie 2001: A Space Odyssey has come to the rescue of Samsung in its patent dispute with Apple which will decide the fate of four key Samsung products, Infuse 4G, Galaxy S 4G, Droid Charge, and Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Samsung filed its opposition brief in court against Apple's motion for a preliminary injunction of Samsung products in the U.S. on Tuesday night. Though the main part of Samsung's opposition documents are kept under seal, an interesting bit of information in the defense argument was reported by Foss patents.

Samsung has presented a still image and a video clip from Stanley Kubrick's Sci-Fi adventure 2001: A Space Odyssey to show that there actually exists a prior art for the iPad designs which Apple claims to have a patent for.

Prior art 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 prior art, a patent on that invention is not valid.

Samsung declared in the court that the image 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 declaration read which included a YouTube link to the video.

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 claimed.

Kubrick's technical professionalism and meticulous attention to detail are at their best in 2001: A Space Odyssey, which is notable for its scientific accuracy. It will be a moment of excitement for sci-fi movie fans if U.S. court accepts the 1968 movie clip as a proof of existence of prior art for iPad designs letting Samsung win against Apple.

About the Apple-Samsung Patent Dispute:

Apple accuses Samsung of infringing on Apple's patented technology, trademarks, user interface and innovative style. Apple's specific claims are for patent infringement, federal false designation of origin and unfair competition, federal trademark infringement, state unfair competition, common law trademark infringement, and unjust enrichment. A German court in August 2011 granted Apple's request for a preliminary injunction barring Samsung from selling its Galaxy Tab device EU-wide. In a similar case, Apple filed suit against Motorola with regard to the Xoom and against a German consumer electronics reseller called JAY-tech in the same court, both for design infringement claims.