Software patents and related lawsuits have been a major topic in the technology press in recent months. Patent trolls are trying to get a piece of the lucrative App Store economy by going after independent developers, and the industry heavy hitters like Apple, Google, and Microsoft are spending billions (seriously; no I mean it) to beef up their patent portfolios in an all-out arms race.
Fortunately, after many weeks of reading about how broken the U.S. patent system is, we were treated to some welcome comic relief today. Apparently, as part of a pending lawsuit between Apple and Samsung over design similarities between the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Apple's iPad, Samsung cited devices featured in Stanley Kubrick's 1969 sci-fi classic "2001: A Space Odyssey" as prior art that supersedes the iPad. FOSS Patents has the details.