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USPTO Approves Amazon Patent For Taking Pictures

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  • by Trailer Trash (60756) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @05:16PM (#46953749) Homepage

    Seriously. Did the examiner on this even consider asking anyone who knows anything about photography? I'm not a photographer but I've had my picture taken for "promotional" reasons and already knew about this. I've even created a similar setup here when posting stuff online.

    Took me 10 seconds to find this page:

    http://www.raydobbins.com/phot... [raydobbins.com]

    What, exactly, are they trying to "patent" and why does this examiner still have a job? It's obvious that we need to have crowdsourcing prior art as an official part of the patent process.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The patent also lights up the back of the white background. Which in the case of your link, it's not lit. And after all, what they are claiming is that the rear light is what enhances the picture.

      But yes, I've seen similar setups before too.

      • Like when a studio photographer points an umbrella flash at the white backdrop, or puts a slave flash behind the subject to soften or remove shadowing on the background.

        This is definitely an example of an examiner failing in their public duty.

        • by SuperTechnoNerd (964528) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @05:39PM (#46953945)

          This is definitely an example of an examiner failing in their public duty.

          They are doing their duty. They are making sure that large corps are making plenty of profit, thereby strengthening our economy! Win win for all!

          • by pipedwho (1174327) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @08:11PM (#46954983)

            Win win for all ... patent lawyers!

            Sadly it is true that they are doing their duty to their customers. Customers who unfortunately are not the general public, but a small conclave of large corporations.

            • by Frobnicator (565869) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @11:16PM (#46956055) Journal

              Actually, Amazon claims it was for defensive purposes only.

              They noticed that there was very little prior art and they used the process for a huge number of photos on their site. Amazon claims they were concerned that a patent troll would get a patent and then sue Amazon.

              In some ways that is a good thing. If their patent was denied for prior art, then it means the patent system (or at least one clerk) understood that there was prior art, and Amazon could have said "We tried to patent it, USPTO denied it, so the troll's patent is invalid."

              Instead, since the patent came through, it means the USPTO could have just as easily given the patent to a troll, so it was a hopefully correct action to prevent them from fighting a patent battle later.

              Time will tell, but considering the nature of how Amazon has been using its patents, this is probably fairly safe.

              • by kegon (766647) on Friday May 09, 2014 @03:03AM (#46956881)

                Actually, Amazon claims it was for defensive purposes only.

                In that case they only had to publish a blog post to generate prior art. And it would have been a lot cheaper. Or are you suggesting that Amazon don't know how patents work ?

                • And... Will there be a patent on one-click photos?
                • by ndavis (1499237)

                  Actually, Amazon claims it was for defensive purposes only.

                  In that case they only had to publish a blog post to generate prior art. And it would have been a lot cheaper. Or are you suggesting that Amazon don't know how patents work ?

                  Actually the real problem is the USPTO doesn't seem to know how patents should work anymore. My Father-in-law worked there for years and retired early because he liked to do research and prove patents had prior art. The new guys coming in would approve patents faster without checking for prior art or really checking into the claims. Granted my father-in-law was not a fun guy to work with as he liked invalidating patents with prior art, or not able being able to prove the patent works to the point he is c

              • None of that changes the fact that the USPTO is incompetent and worthless.

              • Says the company who sued for breaching their obvious "one-click patent".
                We can also trust them to correct benefits to employees in their distribution centers, right?
              • by kimvette (919543)

                > They noticed that there was very little prior art

                Bullshit. Most high quality product photos you see are shot with this method (Apple's products most definitely are based on how clean and free of hot spots the photos are), and ANY prior art at ALL is enough to render any alleged "invention" unpatentable, as is obviousness to those skilled in the art.

                This is Photography 101, and any good photography lighting author worth his salt mentions this technique in his book.

                • any good photography lighting author worth his salt mentions this technique in his book.

                  And yet the patent still went through.

                  Patent officers reportedly only check existing patents. They cannot be experts in all fields, but searching the patent database is easy.

                  Yes, I would prefer the patent office said "That is standard art". But on the other hand, they DID issue the patent.

                  Given the choice, would you prefer Amazon hold the patent, or the patent be held by "XYZ Technology Holdings", a shell company of "SueEmAll Inc", a shell company of "TrollCentral", all existing to sue everybody? Amazon

        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 08, 2014 @06:12PM (#46954183)

          My brother is a patent examiner. When he uncovers something that invalidates a patent application (and he's hard pressed for time. The patent office is over worked, understaffed, and runs on quotas) he's supposed to help the company reword the patent to make it acceptable. Almost no patents are simply rejected. The examiners and companies tweak each patent until it fits.

          • by suutar (1860506) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @06:25PM (#46954277)

            Where's my "depressing but informative" mod option when I need it?

          • by Smerta (1855348)

            The patent office is over worked, understaffed, and runs on quotas) he's supposed to help the company reword the patent to make it acceptable. Almost no patents are simply rejected. The examiners and companies tweak each patent until it fits.

            I've heard this from 2 EE (electrical engineering) colleagues I went to school with. One of them is a patent examiner, the other is a patent attorney. Of the 3 of us, I think I'm probably the happiest. (I'm you're typical working engineer, although I work for myself, not a corporation. That might have something to do with it...)

          • by hankwang (413283)

            "he's hard pressed for time. The patent office is over worked, understaffed, and runs on quotas"

            I'm actually amazed about what these examiners can achieve. Depending on what you assume for the hourly rate of an examiner, including all organizational overhead, they have 4 to 8 hours to read and understand the application, search prior art, and write their response.

            I sometimes have to proofread draft patent applications of my own inventions, and it takes me typically 4 hours to review those (check that what t

        • by dbIII (701233)
          No it's an example of those who set policy failing in their public duty. Money has been paid, the papers approved and the system working as designed.
          However the new design sucks immensely for everyone apart from those who can afford to run out the clock in court with patent lawyers. The Apple vs Samsung examples should be enough to demonstrate that.
      • by jrumney (197329)
        Having seen this patent, now professional photographers will now be rushing out to order off-camera flashes from Amazon so they can reproduce the technique. I'd better get in quick and patent my idea of an umbrella like unfolding curved reflector for those flashes to increase the amount of light they throw onto the background, before Amazon gets in first.
        • by kimvette (919543)

          I'm going to patent a reflective umbrella where the flash will face forward, will have a translucent filter inside the umbrella, and a translucent filter on the front of the umbrella to make it a solid shape. The purpose will be to soften the light via both internal reflection and diffusion. I shall call this novel invention the "softbox" since it softens light, and will specify they may come in a variety of shapes including round, square, pentagonal, hexagonal, octagonal, etc. and also in varying sizes.

          I

      • I'm a pro photographer (mostly portraiture and travel) and I'm doing product photography on the side - just basic products, nothing fancy. What Amazon claims is complete bullshit. They imply that white background product photos need retouching to make the background completely white. This is definitely not the case. Even with the simple setup I have for products (completely DIY setup - a cardboard box, a white roll of paper clipped to the a piece of plastic) I can get completely white background in camera without any retouching. Most cameras have a playback screen that shows white clipping - blown out highlights flashing in red indicating areas completely white. I play around with my lights (2 lights plus reflectors) until I get everything blinking except the product I'm shooting. Been doing this for years. With a proper plexiglass shooting table, this is s cinch. And let's not forget those $25 shooting tents that are designed precisely for this, and allows even amateurs to do it easily (well, with some practice in light placement and power levels).
      • by kimvette (919543)

        I and millions of others have been using this exact technique to shoot product photos for years. This is not new, innovative, novel, or anything remotely otherwise worthy of a patent.

        My prediction: they will next patent a method of shooting photos in a translucent box with lighting around the outside. I propose they call that invention a "lightbox." Oh hell, I've been building lightboxes for years too and so have others, so maybe I should patent the lightbox.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      That's not even close to the way they are doing it.

      But rant on.

      • by thedonger (1317951) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @05:51PM (#46954035)
        I don't care if no one in history prior to know has taken a photo of someone with a white sheet behind them. Is that really worthy of a patent?
        • by gnupun (752725)
          Well, professionals who take these types of photos care, outsiders don't care. Maybe you should at least skim through all the patent claims before saying it's just a camera in front of a white sheet.
          • by dbIII (701233)
            So more complicated - like a light box used in macro photography since at least the 1920s maybe?
          • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Thursday May 08, 2014 @11:10PM (#46956025) Homepage Journal

            "Maybe you should at least skim through all the patent claims before saying it's just a camera in front of a white sheet."

            As a photographer (and someone that build light boxes) it's a fucking light box with a light BEHIND and AROUND it.

            Which I've been building and selling for over a decade. In fact I'm making one for one of my forum admins right now.

            Perhaps you should be a photographer before you open your mouth, eh?

            • by gnupun (752725)
              Okay, Mr. lightbox, go thru the claims and list all the claims that you have already implemented after building light boxes for over a decade -- perhaps with photos of implementations.
              • by Khyber (864651)

                Uh, yea. six-sided box, enclosed or open on any side - done

                Illuminated with geometric patterns (a light at corners, a light only on sides/tops/bottoms of the boxe) - done

                Hiding the shadow of the raised platform - BEEN FUCKING DONE SINCE/WHEN I HAD ECOGROLED, every one of my products was photographed IN THAT MANNER.

                Give me a fucking break. There's nothing new about any of these nonsensical claims, and nothing novel. It's been done for DECADES.

          • by kimvette (919543)

            This is EXACTLY how product photography is normally done - key lighting, then fill lighting hitting the backdrop, and optionally fill lighting at other angles to fill in and remove other shadows and keep a nice even light, and possibly a additional light to add highlighting in addition to the key light.

            Every good photography lighting book covers this exact method.

    • by dreamchaser (49529) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @05:38PM (#46953935) Homepage Journal

      There needs to be some sort of appeal or review process whereby the public can object to patents like this and many others that have been granted.

      • by DRJlaw (946416)

        There needs to be some sort of appeal or review process whereby the public can object to patents like this and many others that have been granted.

        It's as if Title 35, Part III, Chapters 30 [cornell.edu], 31 [cornell.edu], and 32 [cornell.edu] never even existed...

        • Nobody bothers though.

          • I should elaborate. There should be an easy and open mechanism for objections. The process as it stands is broken and very obscure.

            • by DRJlaw (946416) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @06:31PM (#46954327)

              There should be an easy and open mechanism for objections. The process as it stands is broken and very obscure.

              Translation: It should take no knowlege, cost nothing, and preferably involve some charitable group that carries out my wants, unbidden, before I've even appreciated that I have them. Just like in everything else in life.

              Rebuttal:

              Citation of prior art and written statements [cornell.edu]

              "Any person at any time may cite to the Office in writing... prior art consisting of patents or printed publications which that person believes to have a bearing on the patentability of any claim of a particular patent... [and] If the person citing prior art or written statements... explains in writing the pertinence and manner of applying the prior art or written statements to at least 1 claim of the patent, the citation of the prior art or written statements and the explanation thereof shall become a part of the official file of the patent."

              That seems easy, open, to cost nothing (but time and a stamp), and not particularly obscure. But then, if you can't be bothered to Google how to submit prior art [google.com] and then read one of the top 5 links, everything is obscure.

              • by PaddyM (45763)

                Well, time and stamp and possibly a 5% royalty to me for my recently patented method of submitting prior art to the patent office in a white envelope. I'm working on the different colors, but that's a trade secret.

        • by rtb61 (674572)

          "It's as if", the USPTO has been completely corrupted by lobbyists working on behalf of patent lawyers into approving anything, pretty much absolutely anything, as long as it hasn't been patented yet. The purpose, not to generate income via that patent, but to generate income via the litigation of that patent both for and against and always in favour of patent lawyers. How long will it be before other countries start rejecting out of hand USPTO patents. They are approving everything from data base schemas,

      • No, the entire patent system needs to be thrown out. It's not just broken, it's not really ethical to allow forcibly banning second inventors from independently inventing.

        Also, it's not an exaggeration to say the patent system is killing people. E.g.:
        - http://archive.mises.org/15365/update-patents-kill-compulsory-licenses-and-genzymes-life-saving-drug/ [mises.org]
        - "Why Aren’t There More Cancer Vaccines? Blame America’s lousy patent system." [slate.com]
        - A case to abolish patents - Two authors from the Federal Rese [networkworld.com]

      • There needs to be some sort of appeal or review process whereby the public can object to patents like this and many others that have been granted.

        There is [stackexchange.com]. Also see this [joelonsoftware.com] for some more background information.

    • by ljw1004 (764174) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @05:42PM (#46953979)

      Seriously. Did the examiner on this even consider asking anyone who knows anything about photography? I'm not a photographer but I've had my picture taken for "promotional" reasons and already knew about this. I've even created a similar setup here when posting stuff online. Took me 10 seconds to find this page: http://www.raydobbins.com/phot... [raydobbins.com] What, exactly, are they trying to "patent" and why does this examiner still have a job? It's obvious that we need to have crowdsourcing prior art as an official part of the patent process.

      "What exactly are they trying to patent?" -- it says so right there in the first claim, and it's stupid that you spent more time looking up prior art of what you *ASSUMED* the patent was about, rather than actually reading the patent.

      They patented the combination of a white cyclorama background, with the object on an elevated platform, the combination of four rear light sources in a particular geometry behind the elevated platform, and some technical tricks to make the elevated platform be imperceptible.

      I sincerely doubt that your promotional picture was taken on an elevated platform with four lights behind you and some looking down onto the platform. The website you linked was nothing like what the patent is doing either.

      • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @05:50PM (#46954027) Homepage

        Exactly this. You can, however, achieve exactly the same effect by dozens of minor variations on the theme. 72 mm lens, slower iso (really, 320, WTF?), differing positioning of lights, etc.

        While it hardly seems novel or non obvious, it's also so narrow as to be essentially useless.

        Color me confused. Or maybe it's just a black and white issue.

        • by ljw1004 (764174) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @06:00PM (#46954111)

          Claims 2 and 25 aren't that specific...

          It's a kind of patent-drafter's game, mixing specific claims (like claim 1) and general claims (2, 25) and then making progressively narrower claims from the general ones (3 -- 24). They do this to cover their bases, to make it more likely to have the patent granted, and to help them have something they can fight in court.

        • by alvinrod (889928)
          It's very likely that there are dozens of other ways of achieving a similar effect, much like there are loads of different designs (and patents) for internal combustion engines.

          Even if this patent is worthless in the sense that anyone can get around it, it provides protection for Amazon as it's significantly more difficult for anyone else to sue them for anything related to cameras when Amazon can point out that they received their own patent for the method that they're using which is legally recognized
        • by BillX (307153)

          It looks like there is only one extremely narrow independent claim (calling out a specific ISO and lens) - claim 1 - but it's a red herring. The real meat of it is Claim 2, which is much more broad and from which every subsequent claim through Claim 24 derives. Claim 25, the only remaining independent claim, is also much more broad.

      • There are two possibilities.

        1) They're using it for purely defensive purposes.

        2) Either it's broad enough to be dangerous to others doing anything similar, or someone else could go and get a bunch of patents on slight variations of light positioning, ISO level, aperture, etc.

        In the case of 1, the problem is that it's basically obvious and shouldn't have been patentable. In the case of 2, professional product photographers are in trouble.

      • by AK Marc (707885) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @06:09PM (#46954161)
        Great, but in practice, someone who does the same (and has done for 100 years) will be sued 5 years from now, though their setup doesn't include the elevated platform.

        So it wasn't "prior art" because it didn't have the elevated platform, but is actionable because it's close enough to be infringing.

        There's nothing wrong with patents. There's just something wrong with obvious ones. White cycloramas are common. Elevated platforms is common. Multiple light sources is common. Geometry is common. If they are patenting that *exact* combination of those common and non-novel devices, then they should also be banned from going after the guy doing the same thing with 6 lights, or any other geometry.
      • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @07:28PM (#46954725)

        I sincerely doubt that your promotional picture was taken on an elevated platform with four lights behind you and some looking down onto the platform.

        Blah blah blah... who cares. You shouldn't be able to patent arranging some lights and positioning a camera. Just like you shouldn't be able to patent swipe to unlock or how you shave your mustache. I know! I always put my french fries on my cheeseburger before I eat it because it makes it crunchy and adds salt. Let's patent that... oh right, I can't because that would be fucking stupid.

        • by ljw1004 (764174)

          You shouldn't be able to patent arranging some lights and positioning a camera.

          Amazon didn't patent "arranging some lights and positioning a camera" in general.

          They patented ONE SPECIFIC arrangement of lights and camera position. Presumably a particular arrangement that they spent a lot of time and effort to achieve, and wasn't obvious to them when they started, and one that they hadn't found documented or explained or taught elsewhere.

          When you patent a machine, you're patenting "arranging some gears and positioning some cogs". When you patent a drug, you're patenting "arranging some

          • by angst_ridden_hipster (23104) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @09:10PM (#46955381) Homepage Journal

            Yeah, ONE SPECIFIC arrangement that photographers have been using for many, many decades.

            • by kimvette (919543)

              Exactly. I have bought many sheets of white seamless at Calumet (may Calumet R.I.P.) and have made "elevated platforms" of white foam for shooting product with this same exact lighting configuration for ten years, and many other photographers (pro, semi-pro and even amateurs alike) have been doing the same exact thing for a hell of a lot longer than I have. Key lighting and multiple fill lights - this is hardly new or innovative by any stretch of the imagination - even the "fill light" behind the subject/p

      • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Thursday May 08, 2014 @11:14PM (#46956047) Homepage Journal

        "They patented the combination of a white cyclorama background, with the object on an elevated platform, the combination of four rear light sources in a particular geometry behind the elevated platform, and some technical tricks to make the elevated platform be imperceptible."

        Oh, exactly like what I've been building for over a decade.

        Oh, and there's no particular geometry to overpower shadow. 4 lights? I can do it with two. Make the elevated platform imperceptible? Clear acrylic and oversaturation of the area, or use a white cloth matching the lightbox and oversaturate it and shoot at lower ISO. All of this shit is known to anyone that took a fucking photography elective in high school, and in fact this is EXACTLY what Amazon is trying to patent.

        Go back to school.

      • by molnarcs (675885)
        There are literally thousands of ways to set up your lights to create a complete white background in camera without the need of retouching. You can bet good money that this setup (white cyclorama background, object on elevated platform, 4 lights) have been used thousands of times. It's hilariously simple. By the way, the patent claims at least 1 light source hitting the background ("at least one rear light source positioned between the elevated platform and the background) which is far more vague than the d
    • by DRJlaw (946416)

      Took me 10 seconds to find this page:

      It took me about 30 seconds to glance at this:

      1. A studio arrangement, comprising: a background comprising a white cyclorama; a front light source positioned in a longitudinal axis intersecting the background, the longitudinal axis further being substantially perpendicular to a surface of the white cyclorama; an image capture position located between the background and the front light source in the longitudinal axis, the image capture position comprising at least one ima

    • Seriously. Did the examiner on this even consider asking anyone who knows anything about photography

      They don't do that stuff any more. They check that it fits the rules for submissions, collect the fee and leave it to courts to sort out validity, prior art etc.
      It's called "running government like a business". The patent office makes their money and do not give a shit that it's a drain on the economy to move the service they used to perform to the courts.

    • What's the publication date of this web page? Is it before the filing date of the application? Does it meet all the limitations of the claims? Try doing that in about 6 hours. There are other reasons to reject the claims but it's not always so simple.
    • by flyneye (84093)

      Does no one count on good old fashioned bribery or extortion? Even suspect it?
      It would go a long way towards explaining silly patents over the years, silly laws over the years, silly SCOTUS decisions, etc. All perfectly understandable as these institutions are run by fallible people, with weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
      I'm sure the denialist camp is made of the optomistic faithful suffering cranial-rectumitis, so we know where they stand. What about the rest of us?
      Isn't it time to suspect that a spade is a

  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @05:18PM (#46953761)

    fees are $0.01 per use.

  • New Patent (Score:2, Funny)

    by mfh (56)

    The way I breathe air and take it into my body is unique. You all have to stop breathing, okay? Or pony up.

    • by Sarten-X (1102295)

      Sure, just as soon as you describe the process exactly, highlighting exactly what makes your method unique.

    • Prior art: Your mother.
      I have circumstantial evidence she was breathing before you existed.

  • by log0n (18224) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @05:32PM (#46953887)

    Is it going to take violence to get things fixed?

    Seriously. The only thing that's going to accomplish anything anymore is outright violence. Maybe then 'the people who need to know' (whoever they are) will start taking notice at the bullshit that's going on in our patent system (hell, any dysfunctional system). Talk doesn't work. Diplomacy doesn't work. The democratic process no longer works. Peaceful protest doesn't work. What else is there? These patents are directly attacking damn near everyone in commercial and professional photography. And when a bullshit patent is used to attack a person's livelihood or their means of supporting their family or their passion, and the result can leave them destitute, how is that any different than a violent attack against that person?

    Patenting something like this with this much prior art (fuck photography, anyone who has ever applied 3 point lighting and used the plain white background in 3d studio project preferences has prior art) is outright bullshit.

    • Yes, let's kill everyone who disagrees with us. History has shown that that approach ALWAYS works ...

      • If you win, it always works. Problem is, you don't always win.

      • by log0n (18224)

        So what should be done when a corrupt system cataclysmically fails the citizens it represents and all of the methods for fixing that system and addressing those grievances are completely fucked over?

        Our entire system is broken and nearly everyone is too busy circle jerking to care.

        • by Sarten-X (1102295)

          So what should be done when a corrupt system cataclysmically fails the citizens it represents and all of the methods for fixing that system and addressing those grievances are completely fucked over?

          First, you embark on a decade-long series of protests and political movements to express your grievances. Throughout that time, you write hundreds of essays, supported by the most influential and well-educated people in the country. Then you maintain peace as long as possible, allowing the oppressive government to show their nature to potential allies. When violence does break out, make sure that you keep to a very limited amount of aggression, solidifying your place as the underdog. After six years of bloo

      • by am 2k (217885)

        It worked fine in the French revolution.

    • Citizen, your identity has been noted. Please continue to provide us with your thoughts.
      • by log0n (18224)

        I chose my words carefully.

        • Yes, we've noticed that you're literate. Have you considered the happiness that lobotomization can bring, citizen? All of those worries about stringing words together in a way that's technically legal while getting your point across will just melt away, and you won't be bothered with sympathy and outrage for other citizens any more! What do you think?
    • by Type44Q (1233630)

      Is it going to take violence to get things fixed?

      We were warned that it would.

    • You American's all have guns to protect yourselves, right?
      Put 1 and 1 together here... ;-)

  • I did a very similar thing this past Christmas. I used a white sheet and put a very bright white light bulb behind it. We were dressing up with funny hats and such with the family. It seemed like a very obvious thing to do to get a white background to me. I am no photographer... I just was wanting a nice white background.
  • Prior art only exists when it's one of the big guys trying to invalidate or ignore a commoner's patent.

    Have patents always been this broad? it sounds as if they were devised to cover *physical* objects which were non-obvious and all that.. but that train of thought has been lawyered (mutilated) to extend to things like math (software), genes, and god damn geometric shapes or colors.

  • I've got one of those no-horizon white backdrop things, cheapo-style. I saw a big one at a photographer's studio that you could put a whole family on for a portrait. I thought it would be a good idea for shooting ebay stuff, so I "made" one by partially rolling up a large sheet (#102 on the patent diagrams) of white cardstock. And lights. I borrowed everyone's bedside lamps (106, 107, 115, 117) in the house. I just figured I was stealing a standard photographic technique. Didn't occur to me that the photogr

    • Not to worry, then. You did not follow the specific processes in the patent. If you used a 50 mm lens, you're off the hook. If you didn't elevate the lights, likewise. The one thing going for this patent in terms of the ludicrousness of patenting a background in any way, shape or form, is that it is highly specific to their setup.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 08, 2014 @05:49PM (#46954017)

    The formula for trolling slashdot is simple.

    1) Find a recent patent given to a big company
    2) Dumb down the claims to the point of being trivial and nearly unrelated to the actual legal bounds of the patent
    3) Sit back and enjoy the endless stream of people claiming prior art exists while:
          c) not actually pointing out anything specific
          b) the prior art is comically NOT prior art

    Please, let's not feed the trolls by following this formula.

  • Give them a motivation to actually try to make a half-decent effort at weeding out the obvious and not evaluating patents related to domains they clearly have not got a damned clue about.

  • by harvestsun (2948641) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @06:21PM (#46954255)
    This is NOT a big deal. The patent is very specific, to the point where it would be almost impossible to infringe (and equally difficult to find prior art). They didn't patent "take a picture with a white background.". They patented having a studio arrangement with a background comprising a white cyclorama, captured with an 85mm lens, configured with an ISO settings of 320 and f-stop value of 5.6, with an elevated platform positioned between the platform and background, with front and rear light sources in the longitudinal axis... and it goes on for several pages.

    There is NO WAY anyone will be hurt by this patent. It's business as usual. I know you guys love getting mad at big companies, but cool it, you just look silly.
  • by sootman (158191) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @08:02PM (#46954925) Homepage Journal

    The patent is actually for taking a photo on a seamless white background with one click. So, yeah, totally legit. :-)

  • http://slashdot.org/submission... [slashdot.org] oh nevermind

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