Read the Ruling Here

After a ten month ordeal and about $100,000 in legal expenses, Capstone Photography is pleased to announce that a Federal Judge has ruled in our favor and declared three patents are ineligible for patent protection under 35 USC Section 101.  The lawsuit is over and Capstone has prevailed.  Thank you for all of your support.

A bit of background on the case:
An individual named Peter Wolf filed for and received three patents related to event photography. We understood that these patents failed for a number of different reasons to meet the requirements for patent protection by the US Government.  Capstone did nothing wrong, and never stole anyone's intellectual property.  Nonetheless, we were sued on December 31, 2013, and we spent the last ten months defending our company and racking up tremendous legal expenses.

We were not the first to be sued.  Before us, the patent-holder had already contacted or sued more than a dozen companies. When confronted with the high costs of legal defense, one by one, they each agreed to settle with him. Despite severe financial pressure, we decided not to settle and instead to fight these bad patents.  We knew it would cost more, but we knew it was the right thing to do.  Though many of our larger competitors had taken the easy way out, we stood up on behalf of the many hard-working and talented photographers who suffer financially from these bad patents.

On October 28, 2014 a Federal Judge ruled in our favor and declared all three patents invalid.  We are grateful to be vindicated by the courts, as we knew we would be.  The photography business is now better for these rulings, open to free and fair competition that is the basis for our American economy.

Standing up for our industry comes at a tremendous cost.  Aside from the emotional distress and taking away time and energy from growing our business, our legal expenses are around $100,000.  Externally Capstone may seem like a big company, but we're a very small business consisting of the owner (Mike Skelps) and three hard-working employees plus a team of talented contract photographers.  We took a great risk to put this much money into the case.  Although we're committed to dig out from under these expenses ourselves, we hope that many of you who are on our side will consider donating to help us offset some of these expenses.

In 2015, our mission takes on a broader role.  We are uniting with "Application Developer Alliance" and "United for Patent Reform" to support Congress' initiative to get tough on patent abusers.  We will have Op/Ed pieces running in local papers.  I have written and will continue to communicate to Congress the dangers of patent abusers.  At the request of the House Judiciary Committee, I am sending video testimony about our ordeal.  Please write your Congressmen and tell them to End Patent Abuse now!
Federal Judge Rules Patents Invalid
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Photo Patents Declared Invalid
Judge Nixes Photo Patents as Abstract
Novelty Not Relevant But Claim Scope Is
More Patent Claims Held Invalid
TechDirt (must-read comments!)
ProCounter (Australia)
KameraBild (Anyone know Swedish?)
DIY Photography
The Hidden Tax On Your Internet
Blog Article

Fox Connecticut
WFSB, Hartford
WFSB Follow Up: CT Man Fights & Wins

Digital Grin (excellent overview)
Fred Miranda (must read comments p.3-7)
Another Fred Miranda (great stuff)
One more Fred Miranda
ProPhotoHome Blog
Photography Corner
Patents Finally Overturned
SportsShooter: Don't Shoot the Messenger
SportsShooter: Photo Companies Sued
SportsShooter: Any Updates?
SportsShooter: Company Suing
Flickr: Patented Event Process
Coming to a Business Near You

Photography on the Net
Another Photography On The Net
Photo.net:  Patent -- Any News?

Digital Photography Review (LOTS of interesting comments!)
DP Zen

First Patent: '875
Second Patent: '214
Third Patent: '035
Rejected 6 times?

Motion Filed Claiming Wolf Patents are ineligible for patent protection
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Forbes: Lawsuits Stifle Small Competitors
Huffington Post: Measures Needed, Stop Abuse
EFF: Adam Carolla's lawsuit is good, bad, ugly
Business Week:  The Patent Epidemic
Section 101 Invalidates Another Patent
Fearless Photographer: Sports

(you can't make this stuff up, folks!)
Race Director's Statement
Race Facebook Page Comments
Photocrazy Letter Describing Situation
Photocrazy's message and race response
Photocrazy's follow-up message (x3)
Letter from race's lawyers to Photocrazy
Wolf's response to race's lawyers
Gran Fondo Statement to Athletes
Gran Fondo FB page with athlete & Wolf comments
Photocrazy Facebook - 23 Likes?
Capstone Facebook - 30,000+ Likes

One Star on YELP?
Post on www.ripoffreport.com
Sample pics: Tour de Tahoe 2014
Thomas Jefferson
More Thomas Jefferson
Patent Innovation and Ligitation Act Introduced
White House Encourages Patent Reform
Tell your congressmen you want patent abuse to be stopped once and for all!
United For Patent Reform
Application Developers Alliance
More info: mike@capstonephoto.com