Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > News Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 10, 2014, 1:38 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
VTphotog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Extreme Northeastern Vermont, USA
Posts: 4,230
Default Newly patented photography method

Amazon has been awarded a patent for a studio lighting arrangement for taking pictures against a white background.

http://hothardware.com/News/Say-What...e-Backgrounds/

Think I have a good chance now for my patent for a unique gas mixture I call "Air".

brian
VTphotog is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old May 10, 2014, 5:48 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Australia, New South Wales central coast
Posts: 2,907
Default

.

bluddy amazing - or should I say, bluddy amazon


Phil
__________________
Has Fuji & Lumix superzoom cameras and loves their amazing capabilities
Spends 8-9 months each year travelling Australia
Recent images at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/
Ozzie_Traveller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 11, 2014, 1:46 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Hawgwild's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Pensacola, Florida
Posts: 3,547
Default

This easily falls into the "truth is stranger than fiction" category. Holding this patent is one thing, making it pay is another.

You have to hand it to Amazon. They have seemingly re-invented the wheel.
__________________
Always use tasteful words - you may have to eat them.
You cannot find knowledge by rearranging your ignorance.

My Flickr
-Robert-


Hawgwild is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 11, 2014, 6:57 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,571
Default

This falls into the same category as the law student that discovered that the wheelbarrow is patentable but nobody had ever patented it, so he did. Then he sued all the major wheelbarrow manufacturers for royalties and won.

So all you photographers that shoot subjects against a white background should watch your mail.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 11, 2014, 12:53 PM   #5
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
This falls into the same category as the law student that discovered that the wheelbarrow is patentable but nobody had ever patented it, so he did. Then he sued all the major wheelbarrow manufacturers for royalties and won.

So all you photographers that shoot subjects against a white background should watch your mail.
He wished. That's not how it worked. The way the patent title was worded by his attorney ("Wheelbarrow and Handgrips Therfor"), he thought he had a patent on the wheelbarrow. But, the only thing valid about it was the handles he invented, not the wheelbarrow itself. IOW, a wheelbarrow using his handle design on it could be enforced by the patent. But, not if it used other handle designs that had been used in the past.

Here's an article on the subject:

http://books.google.com/books?id=WiY...0story&f=false

It doesn't matter that nobody had patented it before, something like the wheelbarrow has been around for centuries, and it's not patentable due to Prior Art.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prior_art

I suspect Amazon will have a hard time actually enforcing their patent on taking photos against a white background due to Prior Art, and it will be ruled invalid if they try to enforce it. They'd have to demonstrate something very unique about their exact technique that would not be obvious to other photograhers (and as long as taking photos like that has been around, I doubt they could show their technique had not been used in the past, meaning that because of Prior Art, it would not be a valid patent).
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 11, 2014, 1:23 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,571
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC View Post
I suspect Amazon will have a hard time actually enforcing their patent on taking photos against a white background due to Prior Art, and it will be ruled invalid if they try to enforce it. They'd have to demonstrate something very unique about their exact technique that would not be obvious to other photograhers (and as long as taking photos like that has been around, I doubt they could show their technique had not been used in the past, meaning that because of Prior Art, it would not be a valid patent).
Regardless of the validity of the info in my original post, that was my point. The purpose of applying for a patent like that is because your think you can make money off people that have been doing what you patented prior to your applying for it.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 11, 2014, 4:10 PM   #7
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
Regardless of the validity of the info in my original post, that was my point. The purpose of applying for a patent like that is because your think you can make money off people that have been doing what you patented prior to your applying for it.
That's the reason you would *not* want to apply for a patent ("people have been doing what you patented prior to your applying for it"). ;-)

Otherwise (if someone is dumb enough to grant it at all), it's just going to be ruled as invalid due to prior art if they try to enforce it and it goes to court.

My guess is that the Amazon attorney that filed the patent thought that they had some kind of unique process that nobody else had ever thought of before, and it would not be "obvious to someone skilled in the art"; and they managed to get an examiner at the US Patent Office that didn't know any better either.

Our tax dollars at work. Grrrr

I think they'll be the laughing stock of the photography industry if they ever try to enforce it (even more than they already are now by applying for it to begin with, with a naive patent examiner actually approving it), with many photographers coming forward showing prior art (using similar or identical techniques that prove that there is nothing unique enough about the Amazon Patent to make their technique patentable ).

We're already starting to see lots of news articles ridiculing them for the patent. Here's one of many:

http://www.cnet.com/news/photographe...ades-old-idea/
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 11, 2014, 7:06 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,571
Default

Amazon's lawyers will get paid either way, and they just might get some half-witted judge that will rule in their favor.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 11, 2014, 9:35 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
VTphotog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Extreme Northeastern Vermont, USA
Posts: 4,230
Default

The way I read it, Amazon's patent attorneys did reference prior art, and were able to convince the examiner that they had a unique method.
Chalk it up to underemployed patent attorneys who need to justify their extravagant salaries, and an underinformed patent examiner. (and maybe, just maybe, a little filthy lucre changing hands?)

brian
VTphotog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 12, 2014, 7:55 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,571
Default

I have known some patent examiners in my time. I doubt anything changed hands.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 7:14 PM.