Samsung is defending itself against Apple’s legal bid to prevent it selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 devices in the US based on a patent claim – saying the original design idea for all tablet devices, including the iPad and Galaxy Tab, can be traced back to Stanley Kubrick’s iconic 1968 sci-fi movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”.

The Foss Patents blog reports Samsung as saying “prior art” exists in the iPad design and has submitted photographs and a video clip from the move to prove its point.

In a video clip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQ8pQVDyaLo), two astronauts are seen eating while using what appear to be tablet computers . Foss Patents points out that the tablets can be seen to have a rectangular shape with a dominant display screen, narrow borders, a predominately flat front surface, a flat back surface and a thin form factor.

The devices are also described in Arthur C Clarke’s book, upon which the movie is based, and would appear to bear a striking resemblance to today’s tablets and their applications – including the ability to browse various electronic newspapers.

Samsung is also citing a UK TV series dating back to the 1970s – The Tomorrow People – that shows what could be considered a tablet computer.

Apple has succeeded in getting Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 devices pulled from stores in some European countries and Australia until it can demonstrate that it doesn’t infringe Apple patents.

Its novel defense is the result of a similar injunction that has been brought in the US, and it is now demonstrating its reasons what the injunction shouldn’t be granted.

Samsung is saying the movie, as well as the TV show, demonstrate examples of “prior art” for the design of the iPad.