Bad patents and abuse of the patent system hurt small businesses, innovators and the American economy.
Help us support Patent Reform in Congress.
Support HR 9 and The PATENT Act!

We were sued for infringement of three weak and overly broad patents that never should have been issued.  It took ten months and drained $100,000  from our small business to defend against the outrageous allegations.  In the end, a Federal Judge ruled in our favor and declared the three bad patents invalid.  We won our case, but at a crippling legal expense.  Now we take our fight to Congress to support comprehensive patent reform to break the financial model which has mad patent abuse profitable over the last decade.

A bit of background on the case:
An individual filed received the first of three vague and overly broad patents related to event photography starting in 2006.  He immediately turned those patents into tools of financial intimidation against small businesses across the country.  These patents failed for a number of different reasons to meet the requirements for patent protection by the US Government, but it didn't matter.  One after another, businesses were bullied into paying absurd "license fees" for processes they had developed themselves.  When confronted with the high costs of legal defense, one by one, they each agreed to pay the fees demanded.  Like the others, Capstone had done nothing wrong and had never stolen anyone's intellectual property.  Nonetheless, we were sued on December 31, 2013 for infringement.

Despite severe financial pressure, we decided not to settle and instead to fight these bad patents.  We spent ten months defending our company and racking up tremendous legal expenses.  We knew it would cost more, but  it was right to fight these patents and end this abuse once and for all.  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 General Manager 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.  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 have joined Application Developer Alliance, United for Patent Reform  and Consumer Electronics Association to support Congressional efforts to get tough on patent abusers.  I have met with the offices of more than 30 Members of Congress to address the harm that patent abusers do to small businesses and our economy. 
Please write your Congressmen and tell them to End Patent Abuse now by voting YES on HR-9, the Innovation Act!
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Fox Connecticut
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Digital Grin (excellent overview)
Fred Miranda (must read comments p.3-7)
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Coming to a Business Near You

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Digital Photography Review (LOTS of interesting comments!)
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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 - 27 Likes?
Capstone Facebook - 30,000+ Likes

One Star on YELP?
Post on
Sample pics: Tour de Tahoe 2014

John Oliver's Take on Patent Trolls

Thomas Jefferson
More Thomas Jefferson
Patent Innovation and Ligitation Act Introduced
White House Encourages Patent Reform
Read the full text of the Innovation Act, HR-9
Read the full text of The PATENT Act
Tell your congressmen you want patent abuse to be stopped once and for all!
United For Patent Reform
Application Developers Alliance
Consumer Electronics Association
More info: