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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

 
archer1960
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Oct 30, 2014 09:44 |  #61

monkey44 wrote in post #17241518 (external link)
Does anyone know if this ruling means the ones who paid fees will get it refunded? Might have to go to court to get it, but I sure would if it was me.

I also think Wolfe made some enemies in the photo community just because of his responses on this thread ... telling every one he 'was helping' other photographers - when in fact, he was acting illegally all the time. A lesson for others, that's for certain.

A couple of points: He was NOT acting illegally. He had a patent that was valid at the time, and collected licensing fees for it. That is legal, and the fault was with the USPTO for issuing the patent in the first place, not with him for enforcing it. Once the patent was ruled invalid (and this is where I start speculating), I doubt he would be required to refund fees already paid, but I would expect that all the licensing contracts would be voided from that point on.

Saying he was helping other photogs is of course just bogus marketing speak...


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monkey44
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Oct 30, 2014 09:51 |  #62

archer1960 wrote in post #17241628 (external link)
A couple of points: He was NOT acting illegally. He had a patent that was valid at the time, and collected licensing fees for it. That is legal, and the fault was with the USPTO for issuing the patent in the first place, not with him for enforcing it. Once the patent was ruled invalid (and this is where I start speculating), I doubt he would be required to refund fees already paid, but I would expect that all the licensing contracts would be voided from that point on.

Saying he was helping other photogs is of course just bogus marketing speak...

Well, the patent was in fact illegal, whether he acted illegally, well, he believed he was right, even tho' the majority of us didn't believe it. And in the end, we turned out correct.

And you're right too, that fault lies with the patent office. Would be nice if the patent office (or any government office) would be held accountable for errors ... it isn't. That would certainly change things in a hurry.




  
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Oct 30, 2014 10:16 |  #63

monkey44 wrote in post #17241641 (external link)
Well, the patent was in fact illegal, whether he acted illegally, well, he believed he was right, even tho' the majority of us didn't believe it. And in the end, we turned out correct.

And you're right too, that fault lies with the patent office. Would be nice if the patent office (or any government office) would be held accountable for errors ... it isn't. That would certainly change things in a hurry.

No, the patent wasn't illegal, it was invalid. Big difference...


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Oct 30, 2014 10:22 |  #64

archer1960 wrote in post #17241689 (external link)
No, the patent wasn't illegal, it was invalid. Big difference...

True enough - a difference between it. Probably means the fees he collected he gets to keep. Too Bad.




  
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Oct 30, 2014 11:06 |  #65

Yep he didn't do anything against the law - he worked within the law and used a legal means of abuse of the system. So long as all his activities in collecting the licence fees are above board then he's not in a position to be challenged over those fees.

The ruling would likely have been made ages ago, the thing is it only gets made if it comes to court; people who do this typically ensure that their licence fee is less than the court costs would be - so that the companies they target are discouraged to go to court in the first place (purely on a numbers and time basis its cheaper just to pay the guy off rather than stand and make a point).


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Oct 30, 2014 11:27 |  #66

This is wonderful news. I can't wait to see what Mr. Wolf has to say in this thread now. My hunch is nothing...


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Oct 30, 2014 12:07 |  #67

Ever notice how much Wolf stressed the very high cost of litigation when discussing challenges? When you have an invalid patent, you cannot afford to get cornered by a patent violation that you cannot ignore (because then everyone will ignore it). Suing was a bad choice but unavoidable. I think Wolf hoped to string it out for a few years arguing claims and the killer was a quick ruling on the 101 motion.


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Oct 30, 2014 12:21 |  #68

Photo509 wrote in post #16794053 (external link)
I have been for the past 15 years and continue to actively make my living by taking event photographs just like Capstone Photography. I developed some techniques in 1999 that streamlined the event photography process over the methods used since the 1970’s. These techniques were patented and the USPTO issued those patents to me in 2006.

These patents have stood up against all efforts to show prior art or invalidate them. Many event photography companies including the largest in the industry have licensed with us.

We made attempts to contact Michael Skelps, the President of Capstone Photography several years ago. He never returned our calls and continued to infringe on our patents. Capstone Photography contracted with events in our county here in CA and took business away from us. It caused us hardship while Capstone Photography boasted in being the largest event photography company in the country.

Capstone Photography may assert their process is obvious or different and outside the scope of our patents but our attorneys have determined that Capstone Photography infringes on my patents and Capstone’s Attorney has so far not demonstrated to us how their processes are different and outside the scope of the patents.

I was issued additional patents in 2010 and once again Capstone Photography blatantly infringed on those patents and caused us hardship. The details are described in our claims against Capstone Photography.

I find it interesting that many photographers like Mr. Skelps vigorously defend the copyright laws that protect their pictures from being used for commercial gain by anyone else. However, Mr. Skelps does not seem to recognize patent laws that protect intellectual property like the patents he is blatantly infringing on.

We are reasonable in our licensing expectations and settle for fees that have virtually no effect on our licensees doing business as usual. Generally the infringers have to overcome an emotional or pride issue of accepting that someone invented and patented “their” idea. Usually the amount of attorney fees reaches a pain threshold that forces the infringer to settle. Frequently the infringer will then face maximum, even treble damages and the plaintiff’s attorney fees.

The problem comes in when someone tries to avoid licensing with us and we have to file a lawsuit. According to the latest AIPLA survey, litigating a patent case with damages under $1 million by a 1-3 person firm averages $255,000 just to get through the end of discovery, and $623,000 dollars to take the case through trial. (2013 AIPLA Econ. Survey, p. I-133). Mr. Skelps from Capstone Photography has retained a major law firm (http://onellp.com/ (external link) ) in Los Angeles with at least 20 attorneys.

Generally infringers are unaware that the inventor has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and many man-hours developing the patented idea. Marketing research, software and hardware development plus the cost of patent applications and executing the patent through the USPTO are all very costly.

I am very sorry to see Mr. Skelps head down the path he has chosen.

I immigrated to the United States after narrowly escaping from Communist East Germany in 1960. I am a law abiding citizen trying to build a business and raise a family. I expect others to obey the laws of this land as well. Mr. Skelps has caused me hardship by infringing on my patents.

FYI:
http://youtu.be/2_tKbY​ysS8k (external link)

http://youtu.be/zvXVPc​tP2jQ (external link)

http://www.amazon.com …Paul-Cooper/dp/B0029J3Z2A (external link)

Boo hoo cry me a river. You're evil. Your patents are ridiculous. Book events based on your ability, not by trying to force someone out because you think to can patent common sense. The patent office should throw your nonsense patents out.


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Oct 30, 2014 14:00 |  #69

JeffreyG wrote in post #17241865 (external link)
Ever notice how much Wolf stressed the very high cost of litigation when discussing challenges? When you have an invalid patent, you cannot afford to get cornered by a patent violation that you cannot ignore (because then everyone will ignore it). Suing was a bad choice but unavoidable. I think Wolf hoped to string it out for a few years arguing claims and the killer was a quick ruling on the 101 motion.

Yup. He milked it as long as he could, but the courts finally caught up with some of the patent abuses, and once somebody decided to invest in fighting it, he was done. I don't blame him for legally milking the system as long as he could, but don't feel sorry for him now that he has lost, either...


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Oct 30, 2014 18:32 |  #70

archer1960 wrote in post #17242124 (external link)
Yup. He milked it as long as he could, but the courts finally caught up with some of the patent abuses, and once somebody decided to invest in fighting it, he was done. I don't blame him for legally milking the system as long as he could, but don't feel sorry for him now that he has lost, either...

Yes, the first strategy (which is very obvious in his comments warning about all the costs of litigation) was intimidation, intimidation and then some more intimidation. This is critical because once Wolf was forced to sue Capstone, he was basically putting a gun to the head of his own patent.

He was wholly dependent on this thing never going to court, which is what I was suggesting last spring (post #23). But when Capstone decided to continue to infringe on the patent Wolf had no choice. If he didn't sue Capstone, word would have gotten around and then everyone would infringe. That's the Catch-22 of a patent that has bad odds of surviving a court appearance.

And watchers of patent law in the past six years would have forecast this outcome. I just didn't think the judge would move on the 101 motion, but that shows how eager the courts are to invalidate a lot of bad patents from the previous decade.

Race photographers, and really race organizers as well, owe a debt to Capstone. I hope that these parties help recoup the costs of the lawsuit or at least in the case of the organizers throw a lot of business their way.


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Oct 30, 2014 18:36 |  #71

JeffreyG wrote in post #17242566 (external link)
Yes, the first strategy (which is very obvious in his comments warning about all the costs of litigation) was intimidation, intimidation and then some more intimidation. This is critical because once Wolf was forced to sue Capstone, he was basically putting a gun to the head of his own patent.

He was wholly dependent on this thing never going to court, which is what I was suggesting last spring (post #23). But when Capstone decided to continue to infringe on the patent Wolf had no choice. If he didn't sue Capstone, word would have gotten around and then everyone would infringe. That's the Catch-22 of a patent that has bad odds of surviving a court appearance.

And watchers of patent law in the past six years would have forecast this outcome. I just didn't think the judge would move on the 101 motion, but that shows how eager the courts are to invalidate a lot of bad patents from the previous decade.

Race photographers, and really race organizers as well, owe a debt to Capstone. I hope that these parties help recoup the costs of the lawsuit or at least in the case of the organizers through a lot of business their way.

I agree completely. I hope people recognize the service that Capstone did for them, and help them make back some of their legal costs.


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Oct 30, 2014 19:07 |  #72

:) :)


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Oct 30, 2014 20:03 as a reply to  @ CyberDyneSystems's post |  #73

This is odd. I made a post this morning that disappeared.




  
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Oct 30, 2014 20:10 |  #74

Sibil wrote in post #17242724 (external link)
This is odd. I made a post this morning that disappeared.

In the other thread on the same subject?
https://photography-on-the.net …p?p=17241914#po​st17241914


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Oct 30, 2014 20:16 |  #75

Here is the website to donate (external link) to Michael Skelps to help him recover over $100,000 in court fees that he will not be able to recoup from Peter Wolf.


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