Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Why Amazon's white background patent is no big deal  (Read 4785 times)

Ellis Vener

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2151
    • http://www.ellisvener.com
Why Amazon's white background patent is no big deal
« on: May 29, 2014, 01:16:29 pm »

If you are a full or part time professional or commercial photographer then you've probably read that Amazon has been granted a patent for photographing objects (and that includes people) against a white background.  

The important thing to note here is that this is a patent for a specific process of photographing subjects against a white background. The patent makes twenty-seven specific "claims" for that process.

What if you don't use exactly the same process that Amazon does? Then you might not be infringing on Amazon's patent.

#PPA Attorney Stephen Morris explains in this link: http://tinyurl.com/PPAamazon-patent
« Last Edit: May 29, 2014, 03:23:09 pm by Ellis Vener »
Logged

Robert Roaldi

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2226
    • Robert's Photos
Re: Why Amazon's white background patent is no big deal
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2014, 09:14:20 pm »

That's interesting, thanks. Hypothetical legal discussions are always fun for armchair lawyers.

If there are other ways of achieving the same end result, that means that someone could use Amazon's method exactly, to the letter, but there would be no way of telling, based on the end result alone. So people are probably wondering why they bothered filing this patent.

You can't blame people for being suspicious. There have been enough bizarre legal judgements over time to cause anyone some worry. And there's always the very real threat of deep pocket lawsuits. Does it matter who is legally right if hiring a lawyer will break your bank account when the big boys sue you?

I am sure that people are also worried that there may be some obscure wording somewhere in there that will be interpreted in a not good way by someone some day. I know that's a lot of ifs, but still.
Logged
--
Robert

David Anderson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 715
    • http://www.twigwater.com
Re: Why Amazon's white background patent is no big deal
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2014, 10:30:02 pm »

Amazon, first up against the wall when the revolution comes !  ;D
Logged

joneil

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 163
  • This is what beer does to you....
Re: Why Amazon's white background patent is no big deal
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2014, 01:46:04 pm »


You can't blame people for being suspicious. There have been enough bizarre legal judgements over time to cause anyone some worry. And there's always the very real threat of deep pocket lawsuits. Does it matter who is legally right if hiring a lawyer will break your bank account when the big boys sue you?

-snip-
         I agree.   Just look at all the "patent trolls" out there who cause real life harm and expense.  Often I think these things end up being not  who is right, but who can make the most money.
:(
Logged

bill t.

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3011
    • http://www.unit16.net
Re: Why Amazon's white background patent is no big deal
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2014, 01:38:27 am »

This morning I submitted a patent application for my invention that creates permanent, viewable, 2 dimensional perspective representations of the instantaneous arrangement of objects in the 3 dimensional space in front of said invention, using a plurality of either chemical or electronic photosensitive panels in combination with lenses.

I requested the examiner who granted the Amazon patent.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2014, 01:41:40 am by bill t. »
Logged

Ray Cox

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 58
Re: Why Amazon's white background patent is no big deal
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2014, 12:03:00 pm »

This morning I submitted a patent application for my invention that creates permanent, viewable, 2 dimensional perspective representations of the instantaneous arrangement of objects in the 3 dimensional space in front of said invention, using a plurality of either chemical or electronic photosensitive panels in combination with lenses.

I requested the examiner who granted the Amazon patent.

Perfect!!
Logged

BJL

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6600
Re: Why Amazon's white background patent is no big deal
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2014, 01:14:23 pm »

Amazon, first up against the wall when the revolution comes !  ;D
Up against a white wall for a nice, shadow-free mug-shot?
Logged

BJL

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6600
Re: Why Amazon's white background patent is no big deal
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2014, 01:28:49 pm »

The claims do indeed seem extremely specific to the point that it would be easy to work around them: one claim includes use of
"... at least one image capture device equipped with an eighty-five millimeter lens, the at least one image capture device further configured with an ISO setting of about three hundred twenty and an f-stop value of about 5.6"

This is so specific that even under the  "doctrine of equivalents", the patent sounds unlikely to apply if one
- uses an f-stop substantially lower that 5.6, and/or
- uses a lower f-stop and/or bright enough lights to allow the use of an ISO speed substantially lower than 320. [By the way, why 320? Does this patent only cover users of Tri-X?!]


I get the feeling that Amazon is more showing off its idea rather than truly seeking to gain exclusivity and/or royalties on this.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2014, 09:31:35 am by BJL »
Logged

Ray

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10206
Re: Why Amazon's white background patent is no big deal
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2014, 10:29:19 pm »

Absolutely farcical! Was this patent approved on April 1st? Alternatively, was the application submitted on April 1st?

From the perspective of any creative photographer, such a patent is a complete nonsense.
Logged

BJL

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6600
Amazon protecting its product shot protocol from patent pirates?
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2014, 09:40:05 am »

The best explanation for Amazon filing a patent on this highly specific procedure is that it is defensive: it describes a procedure used by Amazon for product shots, and Amazon does not want some pirate filing a patent on it and trying to demand royalties, so it is disclosing the procedure, as a very clear way of establishing prior art against would-be pirates.

It is the opposite of a "trolling" patent, which tend to be broad and lacking in detail, in order to catch as many obvious or existing but undisclosed practices as possible.
Logged

David Anderson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 715
    • http://www.twigwater.com
Re: Why Amazon's white background patent is no big deal
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2014, 08:06:20 pm »

Up against a white wall for a nice, shadow-free mug-shot?

I was going to use a single Octa light.
The soft shadows will give some depth to the blood splatters. 8)
Logged

free1000

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 464
    • http://www.foliobook.mobi
Re: Why Amazon's white background patent is no big deal
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2014, 06:04:36 am »

This rings true. Many patents are just there as insurance policies, and so its common for big corporates to trade big baskets of defensive patents.

No biggie.

ISO 320   Something makes me think of the good old Kodak DSLR that was my first full frame camera.
Logged
@foliobook
Foliobook professional photo

Ben Rubinstein

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1782
Re: Why Amazon's white background patent is no big deal
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2014, 09:50:36 am »

What happened to all the Kodak patents they had up for sale a while back?
Logged

BJL

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6600
Re: Why Amazon's white background patent is no big deal
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2014, 10:06:49 am »

What happened to all the Kodak patents they had up for sale a while back?
Sold to a bunch of companies including the ones that are becoming dominant in the photographic business: Adobe, Amazon, Apple, Blackberry [RIM], Facebook, Fujifilm, Google, Huawei, HTC, Microsoft, Samsung, Shutterfly:
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324081704578235873073906146
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-11/apple-google-deal-for-kodak-patents-approved-by-judge.html
« Last Edit: June 10, 2014, 10:11:11 am by BJL »
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up