Alan C. Kay invented such a thing 40 years ago, before he worked for Apple.
Dynabook by Alan C. Kay, concept 1968, illustration 1972
Did Steve Jobs Steal The iPad? Genius Inventor Alan Kay Reveals All
The iPad is a modern implementation of the Dynabook,
invented 40 years ago by Alan Kay,
who later worked for Apple.
Toshiba Dynapad T100X 1992
The Knight-Ridder Tablet Newspaper 1994
The modern success of tablets has nothing to do with design but rather with marketing. See What the iPad looked like in 1994 and why it took nearly 20 years to arrive:
"It took Apple to make tablet devices sexy - There used to be a very real stigma about touch screen devices. To operate the early models you needed to use a stylus - which was fine - until it disappeared down the back of the sofa. The Microsoft touch screen tablets worked well, but never had an especially good public image. They just didn't capture people's imagination. We shouldn't forget that even prior to the launch of the iPad there were many cynics who said that making a tablet was a strange move. It took Apple's peerless marketing machine to make tablets sexy."
The computer and electronic device company Apple in the past week obtained a preliminary injunction stopping the sale of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Europe because of an alleged "design" infringement by Samsung of the "look" and "feel" of the iPad, as if Apple had originated such user interfaces, which is simply not so. The Dynabook preceded the iPad 40 years ago, The Toshiba Dynapad 19 years ago, and the futuristic Tablet Newspaper 1994, 17 years ago. Apple did not originate these designs. They knew how to market them. That is the difference.
Moveroever, the iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 are two different devices.
There is a comparison of the specs of the two products in question at this link: http://www.dreambloggers.com/comparison-apple-ipad-2-samsung-galaxy-tab-101-specs-features/ showing the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 to be a clearly superior and an easily distinguishable electronic device.
Claiming design rights in a rectangular box with rectangular icons on a rectangular screen does not appear to be too smart to us. Perhaps the judge who issued the injunction is an Apple freak or knows nothing about the modern world or the history of electronic devices, and thus is someone to whom all these things look alike.
Judicial decisions should be made by fully informed judges and entire industries can not be at the mercy of erroneously granted injunctions.
Many of these electronic devices tend to be rectangular, with smooth rather than jagged edges and corners. Almost all are viewed via an LCD or similar screen, just like TV, and present various control buttons, variously located, but almost always non-intuitively placed for someone like myself with large hands. Some even require long fingernails to flip up rubber pads over slots for connections or memory cards. There are just so many things you can do with a thin rectangle.
The injunction in Germany is an abomination and a jurisprudential scandal.
Chloe Albanesius at PCMag.com reports that:
European Galaxy Tab 10.1 Injunction Lifted, Except in Germany and cites to previous detailed postings about German and European Union EU law at Foss Patents:
Preliminary injunction granted by German court: Apple blocks Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the entire European Union except for the Netherlands
Why Samsung was not put on notice before the European Galaxy Tab 10.1 injunction was ordered