Amazon has patented a photography technique that seems similar to many common practices.

Concerns raised over Amazon photography patent

May 16, 2014 5:49 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Patents exist to protect inventors' rights to unique inventions they have created. Sometimes more than one company will develop technologies that have similar features or operate in similar ways, and this can lead to a potential patent lawsuit over which party is actually infringing on the technology of the other.

For this reason, patents that cover general principles rather than specific inventions are less likely to hold up in court. As we have discussed previously on this blog, there are companies that exist specifically to profit off of patents. These non-practicing entities are known for engaging in patent lawsuits despite not actively producing the technology in question themselves.

Although patents that are determined to be too general are often not specific enough to carry weight in court, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has recently granted a patent to Amazon that seems to cover a commonly used, general concept. 

The USPTO has granted Amazon the patent over the process commonly used by photographers for taking photos against a white background, according to TechDirt. The patent is called "studio arrangement." Although photographers have been using similar techniques to take studio photographs for a long time, Amazon has received the patent for this process. The company filed the patent in 2011.

This raises the question of whether Amazon intends to take legal action to enforce this patent. If they do, the success of such efforts remains to be seen.

Although this patent seems general, it highlights the fact that businesses should be taking steps to protect intellectual property from infringement. Whether it's patent, copyright or trademark, a Phoenix small business attorney can provide the legal counsel you need to address your intellectual property concerns. 

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