Event Photographers: Do you know Peter Wolf?

Started Mar 7, 2006 | Discussions thread
Michael Fryd
Michael Fryd Forum Pro • Posts: 10,159
Mr. Wolf's patent

In a typical marathon, runners wear a placard with an identifying number on it.

To me it looks like Mr. Wolf's patent covers the process of taking a picture of the runners as they pass, creating a database correlating the numbers to the photos they appear in, then allowing web surfers to search for photos by number.

To me, this seems like the obvious thing to do (which is why I didn't try to patent it).

In my case, the web site was for the national finals of a competition. Contestants competed in three categories, and wore signs with an identifying word (not number). Our web site allowed people to search for photos of a particular contestant by entering the word on their sign.

In my conversations with Mr. Wolf, he said my web site didn't apply, because he didn't believe our event qualified as a 'sport' and his patent only covered sporting events.

I think Mr. Wolf is in a tough position. If he claims my pre-existing web site violates his patent, it might suggest his patent was granted in error.

If he claims my pre-existing web site is not covered, he may vastly reduced the pool of web sites that infringe on his patent.

I strongly suspect Mr. Wolf is reading these postings (wouldn't you read them if you were in his shoes?). If he had a strong case, I would expect him to join into this discussion.

I found it very entertaining to look at Mr. Wolf's other patent applications.

He has an application for using an automated trigger to take a picture of a participant as they pass a certain point.

Again, I don't understand patent law. It seems to me that this patent would entitle Mr. Wolf to royalties from any horse racing track that used a camera and an electric eye to record the finish of the race. I would expect this patent to be a real money maker for Mr. Wolf.

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