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I need to cancel my Amazon Prime free trial.
The scope of a patent isn't determined by the title, or any language in the description, but the claims. That "worryingly vague" language they talk about is just standard, generic boiler plate language that's included for boring legal arse-covering reasons.
So look at claim 1. It's huge, and very very specific. Only commercial activities falling into that very narrow language, with every last one of those features present, infringes that patent.
Nothing to see here.
Although, while we're on the topic, the USPTO does have problems retaining staff because the better patent examiners fuck off to private practice to get paid megabucks, and I can tell you from personal experience that some of the ones who are left are fucking thick.
But the register is making a big fuss over not much here, imho.
I've found that actually knowing what you're talking about when it comes to this kind of thing is perceived as somehow cheating.
My favourite was someone throwing the toys out of the pram when I replied to their (nodded +5, insightful) post which said that "it should be a legal requirement that you can only get a patent if it explains how to make your invention!!!" with "it already is, and it's very strictly enforced, too"
so what is the actual patent for and why do they need it?
and what's a patent
I wait I wait I wait I wait
That grants the applicant a monopoly right to an invention for generally up to twenty years.
It doesn't give you the right to do anything as such, just to stop other people using your invention, and only if you can be bothered to enforce it.
They're linked to in the article and are quite lengthy as far as these things go.
They'll want it to give them exclusive use of their invention for up to twenty years, or to licence, or to sell, or just to have because crude and Lawley largely useless measures of innovation use number of patent filings as a metric.
Lawley, Sue, Lawyer, patents
but it is essentially for taking a photo against a white background... even if it does only cover a specific instance of this and not all photos shot against white backgrounds.
doesn't that seem ridiculous and completely outwith the original intention of patents?
There's a Ben Franklin (or similar) quote about how a patent system shouldn't allow protection of a narrow invention to affect people using the broader field from which it stemmed.
So what's the negative consequences of a narrow patent? It can't be more broadly enforced than it's narrow scope.
but what's the point of it?
say someone else wanted to use that extremely narrowly defined method of photographing something, why shouldn't they be allowed to? just seems like bullshit
They can, because only commercial use infringes.
The idea is to incentivise innovation by providing a limited term monopoly right in exchange for full disclosure of an invention, which anyone can use after the patent expires.
The classic justification is things like drugs, which cost absolutely absurd amounts of money to develop but are then much cheaper to produce. With no guarantee of exclusivity, where's the incentive to spend the R&D money in the first place?
The other thing is they provide leverage for inventors without manufacturing capabilities to actually benefit from their inventions. I've got a few clients who basically made something in their shed that is now being manufactured by bigger companies because their patent gave them something to actually be compensated for.
I do actually get the basic grasp of how patents are supposed to work
this seems like madness though
is the fact that this doesn't appear to be "novel" or non-obvious and there's probably bucket loads of prior art. I can't believe that other photographers haven't thought of arranging lights to take photos against a white background or done it previously.
But then the USPO has a history of granting pretty obvious patents.
It's to that extremely specific embodiment that's set out in the claims. Which means that it's more likely to be novel. And if there's an unexpected advantage or synergy that they've discovered (I haven't read the description) then that is evidence that it's inventive, or that the advantage is non-obvious.
It's not about taking photos against a white background. It's a way to do green/blue screen stuff but by using a white screen instead.
Sounds like an invention to me.
With your bank details, because it's going to be pricey.
it's just a thing it's possible to do. like a handstand. all bollocks. don't listen to epimer. probably doesn't know what he's talking about. haven't read the link or the thread. booooo amazon
My local nerd gems group is really taking off. It's exciting.