Amazon Patents Studio Photography on Seamless White Background

Amazon Patent Seamless White Background copy

Amazon has had some pretty revolutionary ideas over the years. The Kindle is awesome. Prime is a great service. And drone delivery may be on the horizon. However, Amazon has gone a bit too far with one of its latest “inventions.”

Amazon Technologies, Inc. (a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc.) has legitimately patented studio the common studio photography method of photographing subjects on a seamless white background using a cyclorama and the USPTO actually granted the patent. [Read more...]

Sigma Ordered to Pay Nikon 1.5 Billion Yen for VR Patent Infringement

Sigma 24-105mm f4-2

We are finally seeing results from a lawsuit that Nikon filed against Sigma in May 2011. A judgment was issued against Sigma last month in Tokyo District court, which awarded 1.5 billion Yen to Nikon (close to $15M USD).

The dispute centers a number of Sigma lenses using vibration reduction technology. Nikon originally sought the equivalent of close to $150M USD; however, the judgment stated that the damages was equivalent to 15% of the profits of the violating products earned by Sigma, cutting damages down from the max profits of 10.1 billion Yen.

This has to be quite the blow to Sigma. The company has been a roll lately with awesome lenses like the 24-105mm f/4 OS and 18-35mm f/1.8 lenses. Hopefully, Sigma’s operations won’t be negatively affected in a manner that would delay future lens releases and Sigma’s momentum will continue to gain traction as a solid third-party lens maker.

[via Nikon Rumors]

Possible Class Action Suit for Frustrated Nikon D600 Customers Churning

Nikon D600

We are all well aware of the sensor dust spot complaints generated by Nikon D600 users. Nikon has yet to acknowledge a problem with the D600 . . . even though it launched a Nikon D610 with the only real upgrade being an improved shutter. In a service advisory about the D600 sensor dust problem, Nikon simply stated that the problem was “generally attributed to the natural accumulation of dust.” Recently, some customers have even received Nikon D610 units as their “fix” for a problematic D600 model sent in for a sensor cleaning.

US law firm Lieff Cabraser has posted an inquiry form soliciting information from Nikon D600 customers, which cites the D600 as an allegedly defective product and notes further that consumer protection laws may afford D600 customers an opportunity to bring a class action suit against Nikon for their troubles.  [Read more...]

University of Alabama’s Trademark Lawsuit Against Artist Dismissed

Painting by Daniel Moore

Painting by Daniel Moore

Way back in 2005, the University of Alabama filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against artist Daniel Moore, who created paintings of Alabama football scenes.

These paintings (like the one shown above) included many of the University of Alabama’s properly registered trademarks. Alabama demanded that Moore pay a licensing fee for using the trademarks in his paintings. Moore contended that he was creating artistic portrayals of historical events and, therefore, his works were protected by the First Amendment. [Read more...]

Photographer Who Photographed Neighbors Through Windows Sees Invasion of Privacy Lawsuit Dismissed

Arne Svenson - The Neighbors

Photograph from Arne Svenson’s “The Neighbors”

Photographer Arne Svenson photographed people in a residential building across from his second-floor apartment in New York City. The images ended up in the Julie Saul Gallery in a show, “The Neighbors,” with prints for sale at up to $7500.

The images in the show drew a huge response by the residents appearing the in photos and, ultimately, led to a lawsuit against Svenson for invasion of privacy.

Last week, that case was dismissed in New York State court by Judge Eileen A. Rakower, who ruled that the images were protected by the First Amendment and that they did not violate New York State civil rights laws barring the use of photos for commercial purposes without a person’s consent. The court order specifically noted that “[a]n artist may create and sell a work of art that resembles an individual without his or her written consent.” [Read more...]

PictureDefense.com Holds Your Hand to Help You Remove Stolen Images

Picture Defense

PictureDefense.com is a website that is designed to help photographers take action to have their stolen images removed from the infringing websites hosting such images. The site was created by Jimmy Beltz from PhotoTips.biz and I think he’s done a bang up job on walking us through sending out proper DMCA letters to protect our images. [Read more...]