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amazonAmazon has been granted a patent on a photo studio setup commonly used by professional photographers to take pictures with seamless white backgrounds.

fuelbandYes, this might sound like a new low for the patent system, and maybe that’s the case, but Amazon is probably just covering its butt here.

That’s the viewpoint of the site DIY Photography, which advises photographers to “put down the pitchforks” and not worry about Amazon using the patent to sue them.

It’s sad to say this, but there are people out there that will sue you for using a photography technique when they have it patented,” the site explains. “Should someone with that patent try and sue Amazon, who make thousands of these photographs per day, they’d have a hefty sum of cash coming in their way. What Amazon’s doing is protecting itself from companies like that.”

Adds the site PopPhoto, “Unless Amazon starts patent trolling, it’s probably safe to keep shooting against that seamless.”

However, it’s one of those patents that can make the U.S. patent system an easy target. Here’s the abstract.

Disclosed are various embodiments of a studio arrangement and a method of capturing images and/or video. One embodiment of the disclosure includes a front light source aimed at a background, an image capture position located between the background and the front light source, an elevated platform positioned between the image capture position and the background, and at least one rear light source positioned between the elevated platform and the background. A subject can be photographed and/or filmed on the elevated platform to achieve a desired effect of a substantially seamless background where a rear edge of the elevated platform is imperceptible to an image capture device positioned at the image capture position.

The patent was filed in 2011 and granted in March of this year, before surfacing publicly this past week.

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