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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Sports Talk
Thread started 06 Mar 2014 (Thursday) 13:05
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Peter Wolf / Capstone Photography

 
monkey44
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May 25, 2014 20:53 |  #31

Well I sure don't get it -- I've been listing athlete photos for years - search by shirt number folks, and the game or race, whatever -- tell me what shots you want. Been doing that for a lot of years, and no one sued me yet nor arrested me. Sure sold a lot of images tho' ... maybe it's my smile.

But, then again, maybe I'm understanding this patent thing incorrectly? And what I'm reading here appears beyond the veil of absurdity. Am I lost?




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Photo509
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Sep 17, 2014 01:45 |  #32

primoz wrote in post #16803498external link
I'm not sure if you are ignorant or just playing dumb, but in case you don't know, which I doubt is true, pretty much everyone did "come up with this idea", just noone bother to put patent on it. So obviously you are not the only one who came up with such idea. You are just only one who used screwed up US patent law to slap patent on it so you are able to extort others.

Not so, photographers, attorneys, the patent examiners and everyone else have searched high and low to find anyone or any place that described or used the methods we patented before we went live with our website. Nothing has been found in 15 years of searching. I like to think that I sparked an idea that opened up many opportunities for photographers like yourself. Maybe I am not as ignorant or dumb as you think I am. :)

Also, we don't extort others. We ask for reasonable fees for our Intellectual Property and most licensees do business as usual. In many cases we developed a great business relationship with our licensees and support their growth.


Peter Wolf
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www.brandedsportpictur​es.comexternal link

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primoz
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Sep 19, 2014 03:10 as a reply to Photo509's post |  #33

Absolutely, but in normal world, with normal working patent systems (just to be clear, US are not this), "great businesses" like yours are considered as patent trolls.
I wouldn't really consider your "patented idea" opened any opportunities to me, as once again, you didn't invent anything, you just abused options US patent system allows. But either way, it's not my thing. I have nothing to do with US patent system, so personally I don't really care about all this issue.


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FightForRight
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Sep 23, 2014 12:26 |  #34

At Capstone Photography, we are the most recent defendant of this outrageous patent litigation, and we are not lying down. But we need your help. Check out www.endpatentabuse.comexternal link for lots of great information regarding this case. Please read, share and donate if you can. Also, check out the most recent motion of our defense hereexternal link.




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monkey44
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Sep 23, 2014 13:41 |  #35

FightForRight wrote in post #17173312external link
At Capstone Photography, we are the most recent defendant of this outrageous patent litigation, and we are not lying down. But we need your help. Check out www.endpatentabuse.comexternal link for lots of great information regarding this case. Please read, share and donate if you can. Also, check out the most recent motion of our defense hereexternal link.

I've recently become aware of this lawsuit (I know, I know, I live in a vacuum :) ) -- sent you a PM with a bit of info that might help you ... BD




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primoz
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Sep 24, 2014 02:49 as a reply to FightForRight's post |  #36

I feel sorry for you guys at Capstone Photography (and anyone else got extorted by this schmuck), as you could already see from my previous responses. And I hope this might put into a bit different light this guy's response to one of my posts, where he claims they don't extort others, but actually help them grown and they develop great business relationships with their victims. I guess Capstone photography unfortunately is not one of those "many cases" where this happens.

Photo509 wrote in post #17160268external link
Also, we don't extort others. We ask for reasonable fees for our Intellectual Property and most licensees do business as usual. In many cases we developed a great business relationship with our licensees and support their growth.


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Photo509
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Sep 29, 2014 22:00 as a reply to primoz's post |  #37

Forum contributors, PLEASE read the patents in question and try to understand some of the legal and technical details before judging the validity or anything else associated with the patents. Wrong information is misleading and confusing. Mr. Skelps is fueling misinformation on these forums and websites he has published.

The invention occurred and was filed with the Patent Office in 1999. No one has ever found any prior art before that date – including the USPTO. Unfortunately the patents didn’t issue until 2006 and by that time many event photography businesses used the invention including Capstone. A patent owner can’t really do much until the patent issues. So, for six long years I sat there and saw my ideas being used and couldn’t do a thing.

Once the patent issued we contacted some event photography companies and several, including the largest in the industry, MarathonFoto, licensed with us immediately. Some refused to license and we filed our first law suit against 8 infringers, including Brightroom. Within a short time they all settled and/or licensed with us. There were a few more lawsuits and the end was the same – they settled and/or licensed.

I contacted Michael Skelps at Capstone in 2008 and we had a cordial phone conversation. I personally followed it up with a polite email explaining the situation. He didn’t respond! We contacted him again in 2011, he didn’t respond! We filed a claim against Capstone in 2013 and he had to respond through attorneys. That is a VERY expensive way to communicate.

Recently I personally contacted him again by phone and email but Michael Skelps doesn’t respond! Michael seems to be fixated in fighting until the bitter end. It makes absolutely no sense, especially from a business point of view.

I believe Mr. Skelps has a really bad case of pride or stubbornness and he may very well go out of business and bankrupt before conceding that he could be wrong or resolve our differences.

I don’t wish anyone to go out of business or bankrupt but Mr. Skelps will NOT communicate. What can you do if someone doesn’t want to talk or communicate accept through his lawyers? The noose is tightening more and more around his business and personal finances. Can anyone talk some sense into Michael? I really hate to see what he is doing to himself.

His recent filing of a Motion For a Judgment on The Pleadings is a feudal and VERY expensive way to invalidate the patents. We have filed a response and his motion will be denied. PLEASE, someone talk some sense to Michael and tell him he doesn't have to go down this road. Doesn't he realize that even if the patents were invalidated he would still be stuck with the legal fees. Are bragging rights that valuable? I don't think so. Michael, call any time if you want to talk: (805) 492-0562

On a more positive note we are making some headway in developing really slick automated cameras. Here are some preliminary specificationsexternal link.

We recently tried out the new system at a bicycling eventexternal link and captured every biker climbing a hill in the morning and flying down the hill at nearly 40 mph in the afternoon. No easy feat with cameras and fill flash.

Peter Wolf


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primoz
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Sep 30, 2014 02:15 |  #38

Photo509 wrote in post #17185154external link
We recently tried out the new system at a bicycling eventexternal link and captured every biker climbing a hill in the morning and flying down the hill at nearly 40 mph in the afternoon. No easy feat with cameras and fill flash.

Peter Wolf

So we (or at least those living and doing business in USA) can expect another patent on shooting cyclists going down the hill at 40mph using fill flash? As nothing like this has ever been done before yet... except for some 100 years of bike racing ;)
Once again, you didn't invent anything, as people were doing exactly this for ages (way before 1999), you just abused screwed up patent system. But once again, I really don't give a sh**t, as luckily I'm living somewhere, where, at least for now, patent system is still reasonably well working.


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Qlayer2
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Sep 30, 2014 06:17 |  #39

I did read the patents. You came up with nothing that others didn't- which is why everyone in your eyes in "infringing" on your patent without reading them or even being aware they exist. You were just the first one to run to the patent office and try and patent an obvious idea. Do you really believe all the people you are trying to sue read your patents and decided they had to do that, or came up with it on their own?

Here is my take on one of your patents minus the lawyer speak.

A process providing event
photographs of a sporting event for
inspection, selection and distribution
via a computer network, comprising
the steps of:
taking photographs of at least one
participant of a sporting event along
at least one point of a course or field
thereof;

I take pictures of people at a sporting event.

associating identifying data with each
photograph taken, wherein the
identifying data is selected from at
least one of: a number corresponding
to a number worn by a participant, a
participant’s name, a code acquired
from a component worn by a
participant, and a date and time,
including hour and minute the
photograph was taken;
informing the sporting participants of
the identifying data;

I use metadata to stamp the date/time and/or bib number/name of the runner in the pictures I took.

transferring the photographs to a
computer network server;
cataloging each of the photographs in
a Web-site server according to the
identifying data;

I create simple database to include the metadata and the pictures on my web server.

accessing the server at a location
other than the sporting event and
searching for a photograph of a
particular sporting event participant
utilizing the identifying data; and
displaying the photograph of the
sporting event participant for
inspection and ordering.

I display the pictures with a search box for the metadata on a website so people can view and order them.

You can read the article at PetaPixel- pretty good explanation of the facts from an outside third party. They agree with my take on the patents, as well.

http://petapixel.com ...rting-events/#more-143168external link

And the EFF article as well.

https://www.eff.org ...oll-more-just-bridge-tollexternal link


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Methodical
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Oct 04, 2014 15:09 |  #40

Interesting. During the annual Seagull Century bike ride in Salisbury MD, the company that take photos use this method for us cyclist to find our photos. I even ordered a photo taken of me on the 100 mile ride. That is definitely a good method to identify folks. I wonder if that company had to purchased a license from that dude.

It seems, this company may have to buy a license agreement. Even if they reform the law, I doubt it would be retroactive. They will have to wait until the patent ends. Wolfe will suck him dry. Sometimes, you have to weight the cost of fighting vs. paying. It sucks, but... Even if we don't like it, it's the law, right now. You have to fight the law to get it changed.

Update: I see in post #37 Peter mentioned Marathon Photo. That's the company that took the photos. So, they did get a license agreement.


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Methodical
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Oct 04, 2014 15:18 |  #41

Photo509 wrote in post #16799389external link
Of course I am the person who I say I am. I am not looking for sympathy but I am looking to get a fair shake. I came to America because I couldn't stand the corrupt Communist Regime. Now I seem to be facing bullying and name calling by uninformed and hateful people.

Ok, show me where the claims of the patent were practiced long before I "slapped a patent on it." People and lawyers have searched high and low for prior art and no one has found it. Now please don't describe some non-relevant prior art. You need to play by the rules of patent law to proof it. I describe in detail in my patents the process that was used before 1999 and it was laborious and antiquated. My new methods allowed any photographer to enjoy event photography and make some money at it. All I am asking is a reasonable compensation for coming up with the idea in the first place.

Not quite sure why you wish hardship on me. I don't wish that on anyone, including Mr. Skelps. The process I invented allowed many people to enjoy event photography and generate an income. There would be little incentive for people to develop new ideas and processes without some protection so that bullies don't take those ideas away from the inventor. The laws in this country are very explicit about this. Patent protection is even mentioned in the US Constitution.

Hey, thanks for your comments. We obviously have different points of view and as long as we can express those views in a civil manner, I am all for it.

I have been inventing things all my life. Most of my inventions (nearly a dozen) were for companies in the computer printer industry. They made millions and I got a plaque and lunch with the President. No complaints from me. They paid me a good salary. Patents are difficult to enforce as a little guy.

Peter Wolf

Peter, how much is the license agreement?


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monkey44
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Oct 04, 2014 15:36 |  #42

Peter, that process was recognized and used long before you "recognized" it, and claim you invented it. In fact, I personally used it with college athletes long before your patent 'arrived' ... and wish I'd have know at the time this "use of art" was needed because that patent would have been denied.

And I find it very unlikely you'd have challenged our colleges in court -- instead of picking on guys that can't afford the legal fees.

This "patent" is the most obvious and general use of 'search by individual event numbers', and for the life of me, I still can't believe the patent office even granted the patent.

Crabbing about your history ain't cutting no water either -- we all have history, some a lot worse than yours, I'd bet. So, personally, I think you ought to just go out and learn how to shoot good images instead of picking on guys that work hard for a living and quit trying to get a piece of their pie without working for it.

If you think coming on a photo forum where guys work hard at the craft and seek justification for your actions, you probably ought to look somewhere else. Because you won't find it here ...




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RWJP
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Oct 05, 2014 04:19 |  #43

I think this whole situation will hinge on Mr Wolf's claims of "No one used it before I did"...

Really Mr Wolf? Are you certain about that? Did you personally ask EVERY single photographer in the US at the time whether they used a similar method? I somehow doubt it.

Your claims of "No one used it before I did" are backed up by your claims that the patent lawyer who dealt with it found no evidence of prior art either. Did he personally ask every single photographer in the US at the time whether they used a similar method? Again, I doubt it.

I would expect that there will be evidence out there somewhere, but I also reckon that the reason you have yet to find it is that few people would consider documenting the process because of how blatantly obvious it is!

It is such a shame that you seem to be out to stifle legitimate competition and damage the industry you are part of by filing and enforcing these blatantly obvious, and highly unfair patents.

I certainly wish Capstone the best in fighting this, and I really hope the USPTO sees a little sense.


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kb9tdj
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Oct 29, 2014 11:26 |  #44

Looks like Mr. Wolf has lost his patents:

http://endpatentabuse.​com ...ment_On_The_Pleadin​gs.pdfexternal link


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archer1960
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Oct 29, 2014 11:51 |  #45

kb9tdj wrote in post #17239791external link
Looks like Mr. Wolf has lost his patents:

http://endpatentabuse.​com ...ment_On_The_Pleadin​gs.pdfexternal link

And the decision was based on what I suggested it would be: courts have continued to find that computerizing a conventional method is not patentable.


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Peter Wolf / Capstone Photography
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