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Judge: Samsung can't use '2001' or UK television show to dispute Apple's iPad patents

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Judge Lucy Koh has ruled that Samsung will not be able to use fictional tablets from '2001: A Space Odyssey" and the UK television program 'Tomorrow People' to argue that Apple's design patents for the iPad are invalid.

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We're two drama-filled days into the Apple vs. Samsung trial, and now Judge Lucy Koh has ruled that Samsung won't be able to use several fictional examples of tablet computing to argue against Apple's iPad patents. In an order today, Koh rejected Samsung's arguments that it should be able to introduce footage from 2001: A Space Odyssey and the UK television show Tomorrow People, both of which feature characters using tablet devices, as "prior art": pre-existing creations the would call into question the originality and validity of Apple's design patents. While the footage had been introduced into the case in 2011 as background, Samsung hadn't disclosed at the time that it ever intended to use it to argue for patent invalidity. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal had previously ruled that Samsung couldn't change its mind late in the game since Apple wouldn't have time to prepare a proper response for the trial; Koh agreed.

Samsung had also introduced a 1994 tablet designed by Roger Fidler and the Compaq TC1000 as part of its patent invalidity case, but after the close of discovery changed its mind again and wanted to use them to argue that it hadn't infringed in the first place. Grewal had ruled against the change for the same timeline issues, a decision Koh upheld. Also off the table is Samsung's "blue glow" design-around for the iOS bounce-back feature, as well as the much-discussed "Sony style" iPhone design experiment (an email discussing the prototype will be allowed, however).

In what seems to be a clear sign of frustration with the legal jockeying on both sides, Judge Koh also ordered today that both sides limit themselves to just one set of objections and responses when it comes to evidence introduced with witnesses from here on out. While the various rulings can't make Samsung happy, it should be noted that the rules governing the discovery process are in place to ensure that both sides have a fair, non-prejudiced trial, and Koh has proven to be a stickler for proper procedure thus far. Why Samsung didn't cover its bases earlier in the process, however, still remains to be seen. The testimony starts up again tomorrow morning with Phil Schiller on the stand, and we'll be there to let you know what happens.