If that's not the stupidest patent, it might be this one: making a cat chase a laser pointer around.
"A method for inducing cats to exercise consists of directing a beam of invisible light produced by a hand-held laser apparatus onto the floor or wall or other opaque surface in the vicinity of the cat, then moving the laser so as to cause the bright pattern of light to move in an irregular way fascinating to cats, and to any other animal with a chase instinct." (Source)
That is truly stupid, but photographers have been shooting subjects in front of white backgrounds for around 100 years, if not longer.
Do these embody a rush to patent everything that's taken for granted?
And if so what in hell are the patent examiners thinking?
I suspect the full patent details offer enough specifics that most setups would differ enough technically to escape infringement.
For sure, but the other side of that coin is that thousands of shoots will be doine by people unintentionally infringing.
From now on, any photographer conscientiously not wanting to be sued by Amazon will have to drag out the Amazon patent and verify that his/her setup doesn't match their's.
I'd like to see a comment by Amazon on why they did it. If they're just trying to make sure they don't get sued, maybe they could donate it to public domain.
At any rate, it would be astronomically difficult to enforce based merely on an image. They'd pretty much have to have a flunky at the shoot checking all the parameters to see if they violate the patent.
I just sent in my application....ready? Fried Fish ! I'll make millions!
Not until you pay me for the patent rights I have on extracting wildlife from salt water using nets and hooks.
American patent system seems to have gone down in credibility in recent years. Especially when you hear things like Apple patenting the idea of "rounded corners" in rectangular shaped object. Something which have existed for years.
Therefore I am not least bit surprised, that the US Patent System would even allow that.
The US is both great and terrible at recognizing intellectual property.
The worst I my opinion is Mickey Mouse. The original copyright should have expired around WWII, passing into the public domain. The whole idea of copyright, patent, trademark and such is that the creator has unlimited use to themselves for a finite amount of time.
But compare the US to China, where (last I checked) they do not recognize any intellectual property.
I guess if you have an army of lawyers, you can away with almost anything.
Reminds of the bogus news story in the 90s about how Microsoft was going to patent 1s and 0s.