Clearly Unpatentable

I’m sorry, I just can’t help myself. For those of you who weren’t around in 1968 when this premiered at a local theater (really wide-screen CinemaScope, if you were lucky — I was):


Here’s a picture, just in case the video ever gets pulled:

newspad

Apple and anyone else trying to enforce patents on the design of anything resembling a tablet PC are full of crap.

When he tired of official reports and memoranda and minutes, he would plug his foolscap-sized Newspad into the ship’s information circuit and scan the latest reports from Earth. One by one he would conjure up the world’s major electronic papers.… Switching to the display unit’s short-term memory, he would hold the front page while he quickly searched the headlines and noted the items that interested him.… The postage-stamp-sized rectangle would expand until it neatly filled the screen and he could read it with comfort. When he had finished, he would flash back to the complete page and select a new subject for detailed examination.

Arthur C. Clark, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).

Whatever became of prior art, anyway? Or are the world’s patent examiners just a bunch of “morans”?