Hey Amazon… REALLY? Are You Kidding Me?


“On March 18, 2014 Amazon Technologies, Inc. (an operating subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc.) obtained a United States Patent (8,676,045) for a “Studio Arrangement” and a “method of capturing images and/or video.”

ibook-store-widgetMany photographers will recognize this lighting set-up and method as being a very old, very common and very widely used lighting technique to photograph a subject against a white cyclorama background, where the subject is on a white base/platform, and the set is lit with multiple light sources pointed towards the background to overexpose (blow-out) the background and the base/platform, and with flags on either side of the subject to prevent overexposure of the subject. The method that Amazon has patented claims to “achieve a desired effect of a substantially seamless background.” You can find the patent here:”


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  1. The question is…. “What other classic or common types of lighting setups are they in the process of trying to patent?”

    • That is indeed the question… and if not them, who? The patent office is simply manned by people who shouldn’t be there. They are too out of step with the real world, and they wield amazing power. That should be done judiciously and with great care, and yet in the recent years we have seen so many terrible decisions by these non-accountable government workers.

  2. I usually enjoy your posts, but I’m offended by your crass and crude language. You can get your point across without using those types of words.

    • You are correct, sir.
      I apologize. It will not happen very often. I am particularly angry about this, and let it cloud my words a bit.

      Again, my apologies.

  3. I just couldn’t depart your web site in advance of advising i basically relished the common info someone offer for a company? Can be just going to be again frequently in an effort to take a look at cross-check new articles

  4. The patent looks silly. Who would they license it to? Plus, if the techniques are all well-known long ago, they’ll pre-date the patent and render it worthless. Maybe there’s a Dean Collins videotape that describes how to do this.

    Every now and then there’s a patent that ignites public outrage. How could they have granted this? I have applied for many patents and in my experience, the patent office examiners are hardly pushovers. The thing is, they are skilled at searching the patent database for prior art, but not as good at finding it in the public literature.

    I’m more sympathetic to the patent office than most people. They generate more revenue (from fees) than they are given back to operate. People are applying for patents at record rates. You have to know a lot to be an examiner. And the work looks grueling to me. There are periodic calls for reform, but it’s not so obvious how to make it better.

    • Unfortunately patents are also becoming a tool to impede / discourage others from carrying out their business. Even thought this patent maybe erroneously issued due to prior art predating this, the threat of having to defend an infringement or the cost to mount a challenge, can effectively discourage others from persueing the activity that may infringe… Especially if other non-incumbered alternates are available…

      I am aligned with Kurt in terms of Patents Office workload and breadth of their work..
      It seems the process is, if there is no obvious reason to deny a patent, to grant the patent, then let others challenge it; if challenged, the patent is then put under review, with the responsibility on the ‘inventor’ to prove it is unique and original.

      While i have not reviewed the specifics of this application, the issue I see is which person or group has enough to gain to invest time and resource in mounting a well researched and prepared challenge…

      The remaining question is what will Amazon do to try and enforce its ‘rights’ and utilise this patent?