Yesterday's SMBC undertakes to explain
It's odd, given that lawyers have been around in something like their modern form for a millennium or so, that they're not stock figures in fairy tales. What's the earliest work of fiction in which lawyers and the law have a major role? There's The Man of Law's Tale, but even though the story features elaborate adventures related to attempts to break a contract, there are no lawyers involved besides the one telling the tale.
Anyhow, here's how SMBC sets up its revision of Aladdin and the lamp:
And the punch line:
The "after comic":
This, of course, is a reference to the fact that Apple's iPhone patents include the idea of devices with rounded corners. As I understand it, the USPTO did actually grant Apple such a patent, but the jury in the recent Apple/Samsung case threw out Apple's claim based on this issue. (Though they did allow a claim of infringement relative to a patent on icons with rounded corners, so perhaps it's OK to patent geometric shapes for virtual objects, but not for real ones? Anyhow, I'd call dibs on rectangles without rounded corners, on circles and ellipses, and on triangles, diamonds, and hexagons with and without rounded corners, except that some ingenious innovator has doubtless beaten me to it…)