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PhotoCrazy patent, event photography, Wolf --- any Updates?
Andrew Katsampes, Photographer
Melrose | MA | USA | Posted: 4:28 PM on 01.28.08
->> As you know Peter Wolf has a patent (http://www.photocrazy.com/Patents/Patent6985875.pdf). The patent discusses the process by which images are presented, searched, and sold on the internet. This has been discussed in earlier threads. Any updates to this situation? What should we do if contacted? Thanks.
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Jared Wickerham, Student/Intern, Photographer
Pittsburgh | PA | U.S.A. | Posted: 5:21 PM on 01.28.08
->> Wow, that's the first I've heard of the issue. How is that allowed?
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Gavin Werbeloff, Student/Intern, Photographer
Atlanta | GA | USA | Posted: 9:39 PM on 01.28.08
->> it doesn't pass the non-obviousness test. The problem is, the thing will have to be litigated to get the patent thrown out, which will cost someone a lot of money and time.
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Jim Roshan, Photographer
Bowling Green | Ky | USA | Posted: 4:23 AM on 01.29.08
->> Andrew,

Best thing to do is join SEP (
http://www.sepsociety.com )

They have a great legal dept that helps you out in situations like this. Plus, they have been on top of this since day one (only org to do so). The contact there would be Al Hopper.
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Jody Gomez, Photographer
Murrieta | CA | USA | Posted: 8:07 PM on 01.29.08
->> On June 8, 2007, Peter Wolf filed a lawsuit in Texas against Brightroom, Elizabether Kreutz, Bird's Eye View, Digilabs, Printroom, SmugMug, and Hour Photos (dba Master Photos USA)for patent infringement. Wolf demanded trial by jury, and claims that he has been irreparably damaged and is entitled to compensation that "can in no event be less than a reasonable royalty." He's also seeking pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, attorney's fees, costs, and other relief. Further, he requests that the defendants "be permanently enjoined from further infringement of U.S. Patent No. 7,047,214" This patent is almost identical to the patent referenced by Andrew. Why he was issued two different patent numbers for the same thing, I'll never know.

Hour Photo caved in on August 31, filing a letter to the court stating that they have removed the specified search criteria and complied with the cease and desist request. Wolf filed a stipulation to dismiss Hour Photo on Nov 1, stating they had not been served nor filed an answer or motion for summary judgment (which I don't understand because their answer was filed on Aug 31), and Hour Photo was dismissed with prejudice on Nov 6.

Bird's Eye View, Elizabeth Kreutz, and SmugMug have also been dismissed with prejudice for the same reasons.

On Jan 4, 2008, Brightroom filed an answer and counter claim. Their position (answer) is that the patent is invalid and/or unenforceable. Their counterclaim is for a declaratory judgment that 1. they are not infringing the patent; and 2. the patent is "invalid and unenforceable for failing to comply with one or more of the provisions of Title 35 of the U.S. Code, including but not limited to the provisions of 35 U.S.C. $$ 102, 103, and/or 112." Brightroom's request for relief includes that Wolf's claims be denied; Wolf gets nothing; Brightroom has not infringed; that the patent be declared invalid; that the patent be declared unenforceable; that the case be found exceptional under 35 USC $285; that Wolf pays all Brightroom's fees and costs; and other relief as the court sees fit. Brightoom also requested a jury trial.

On Jan 24, 2008, Wolf answered Brightroom, essentially saying that Brightroom's counterclaims are all legal conclusions and as such, no answer is required. He denies Brightroom's claim that the patent is invalid and states that Brightroom's relief requests are only requests so no answer is required.

Bottom line boys and girls, is that this is going to trial. Along those lines the final pretrial conference dates set by the judge are March 3, 2008; October 6, 2008; March 2, 2009; and October 5, 2009. I'm not sure what these dates mean, so if anyone else does, I'd love to know.

Another interesting fact that I noticed about this case is that Wolf's summons to the defendants are all sealed. Makes me wonder what's in those documents that he doesn't want anyone to read??

Hope this info helps.

:~)
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Jody Gomez, Photographer
Murrieta | CA | USA | Posted: 8:18 PM on 01.29.08
->> Another thing: The only winners in this case (besides us if the patent is declared invalid) are the attorneys. Looking at the list of attorneys makes me wonder just how much money Mr. Wolf has at his disposal...

Plaintiff: Peter H. Wolf represented by Eric M. Albritton
Plaintiff: Peter H. Wolf represented by Michael J Collins
Plaintiff: Peter H. Wolf represented by Edward W Goldstein
Plaintiff: Peter H. Wolf represented by Matthew Prebeg
Plaintiff: Peter H. Wolf represented by Thomas John Ward, Jr

Defendant: Brightroom, Inc. represented by Michael G Kelber
Defendant: Brightroom, Inc. represented by Scott English Stevens
Defendant: Island Photography, Inc. represented by Diane DeVasto
Defendant: Island Photography, Inc. represented by Allen Franklin Gardner
Defendant: Island Photography, Inc. represented by Michael Edwin Jones

Counter Claimant: Brightroom, Inc. represented by Scott English Stevens

Counter Defendant: Peter H. Wolf represented by Eric M. Albritton
Counter Defendant: Peter H. Wolf represented by Michael J Collins
Counter Defendant: Peter H. Wolf represented by Edward W Goldstein
Counter Defendant: Peter H. Wolf represented by Matthew Prebeg
Counter Defendant: Peter H. Wolf represented by Thomas John Ward, Jr
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Andrew Katsampes, Photographer
Melrose | MA | USA | Posted: 10:43 PM on 06.01.08
->> If interested in this patent, read about Patent Reform Act of 2007.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13555_3-9887374-34.html

Excerpt:
"Let's instead just cut to the chase. In lay terms, the bill makes it easier to challenge issued patents and harder for patent holders to obtain compensation through the U.S. legal system."
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Andrew Katsampes, Photographer
Melrose | MA | USA | Posted: 1:28 AM on 10.31.08
->> I have been informed of a patent ruling. Methods can not be patented. This directly affects the PhotoCrazy patent.
http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idINN3026126020081030?rpc=44&pag...
Finally.
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Mike Brice, Photographer
Toledo | OH | USA | Posted: 1:48 AM on 10.31.08
->> That's great news.

Hopefully the ruling will stand as it looks like it is headed for the Supreme Court.
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Samuel Lewis, Photographer
Miami | FL | USA | Posted: 10:01 AM on 10.31.08
->> A Stipulation of Dismissal as to Brightroom, Inc. was filed on May 9, 2008. The dismissal, which covers Wolf's claims against Brightroom and Brightroom's counterclaims (seeking to invalidate Wolf's patent), dismisses all claims with prejudice. According to the related order, it appears that Wolf and Brightroom entered into a Patent License Agreement dated April 18, 2008.

Wolf's claim against Island Photography was also dismissed, with the order indicating that the parties entered into a Patent License Agreement dated February 8, 2008.

SmugMug was dismissed from the action on November 9, 2007. While the stipulation for dismissal indicates that the dismissal is with prejudice, the Court's order does not. The stipulation also does not indicate whether SmugMug entered into a license agreement, although given the manner of the dismissals involving Brightroom and Island Photography, it would be reasonable to assume that SmugMug also entered into a patent license agreement.

The case was closed on May 13, 2008.

Thus, the sad news is that it appears all of the defendants caved. Despite the bravado and claims of having sufficient evidence to invalidate the patent made by some of the defendants, it appears that the defendants instead decided to help fund Wolf's war chest for future litigation.
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Andrew Katsampes, Photographer
Melrose | MA | USA | Posted: 10:14 AM on 06.17.09
->> Good news or at least more legal fees for Wolf.

http://santabarbarapix.com/pixblog/?page_id=953
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 9:27 PM on 01.27.10
->> Copying over from another thread...

There are plenty of (a) workarounds and (b) pre-existing works to that patent.

For example, column 5 point 1, there's a requirement that you use the date and time the photo was taken, and also inform them of how you're going to identify them. Obvious workarounds: Don't use the time as part of searching, and don't say "We're using your bib number to match you to your photos"; you could just say "Please enter your bib number here: ...", while not identifying that this is what you're using to perform a search for photos.

Patents are very exact in nature; they differ from copyrights greatly, such that small variations from what is patented will get you right around it. Remember, however, I Am Not A Lawyer :) However, the information is publicly available too!
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 9:45 PM on 01.27.10
->> Slight correction to the above - #24 and #29 on the patent would still require you to inform competitors of the metric used, without the requirement to use the date and time for identification.

The above still applies, however - as long as you don't inform the competitors of the identifying data, you're fine.
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Thread Title: PhotoCrazy patent, event photography, Wolf --- any Updates?
Thread Started By: Andrew Katsampes
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