A few weeks back we reported a weird patent lawsuit. , PhotoCrazy (owned by Peter Wolf), was suing a South Carolina event photography business, Capstone, for violating a few patents. without going into the technicalities of it Photocrazy claimed that “taking photos of an athlete at an event, sorting the images by the bib number wore by the athlete, and putting them a website” is their patent.
Sound like bull, right?
Right! And court backs it up.
Yesterday the court agreed [big boring legal PDF] with Capstone’s Motion for Judgment because they were not even patentable in the first place. The court said (among other things) that “all of the computer functions were “purely conventional”” and that “The Patents Do Not Contain a Sufficient “Inventive Concept”“.
But even when looking closer the court says that “the independent claims do nothing more than recite a series of conventional steps carried out using basic camera and computer functions and mostly essential to placing searchable event photographs online for inspection and ordering”
So there is a thumbs up for the court here.
Sadly the cost of running a patent case is so much bigger than the cost of obtaining a patent. The legal costs of defending this
weird annoying suit exceeded 100,000 dollars and the EFF, and now us, join the call to help Capstone regain their legal fees:
Capstone doesn’t have a widely-distributed podcast that it can use to drum up the backing of thousands of fans and supporters. Its owner’s own attemptto crowdfund the defense raised only about $5,000. And although Capstone’s business has been profitable, the owner tells us that because of the patent lawsuit and the costs his company is facing, his business faces the very real prospect of shutting down #
I just wish the court would have ordered Photocrazy to pay Capstone’s legal fees.
P.S. Amazon may wanna follow up on this case after patenting seamless white photos.