Today a photography blog unearthed another strange development in America’s ongoing patent train wreck: Amazon was recently awarded the intellectual rights to taking pictures of people in front of seamless white backgrounds. Critics of the deal from the tech and photography worlds are split on what they see as the bigger affront: the gullibility of the US Patent and Trade Office, or the genius of Amazon’s patent lawyers.
Amazon has been granted a patent on a photo studio setup commonly used by professional photographers to take pictures with seamless white backgrounds. Yes, this might sound like a new low for the patent system, and maybe that’s the case, but Amazon is probably just covering its butt here. That’s the viewpoint of the site DIY Photography, which advises photographers to “put down the pitchforks” and not worry about Amazon using the patent to sue them. “It’s sad to say this, but there are people out there that will sue you for using a photography technique when they have it patented,” the site explains. “Should someone with that patent try and sue Amazon, who make thousands of these photographs per day, they’d have a hefty sum of cash coming in their way. What Amazon’s doing is protecting itself from companies like that.”