To some, it might seem that you can patent anything these days. Last week a weird story appeared in my Facebook newsfeed: Amazon has somehow been able to patent photography against a white background. The story was originally reported on DIY Photography. It has been making the Internet rounds since. The Electronic Freedom Foundation points out that the story made it onto the Colbert Report. But things aren’t always as they appear. Photographer Ken Rockwell has attempted to clear up the confusion:
“Amazon didn't patent the white cyc or the white background as the ignorati have claimed; they only patented a clever method to get the reflecting floor to blend seamlessly into the background, as-shot in-camera. Read the patent itself for details and ignore the ignorati who thought that Amazon patented the white background itself, hee hee.
Ideas aren't patentable; implementations are. Pros need fast results; post-processing is for hobbyists.
This means if you use this clever method for your studio shots, especially if you're an online retailer showcasing your wares, you might be hearing from Amazon.
Amazon's patent doesn't have anything to do with using a white background, using a light table, tent, or using a clear glass table over white, and it has nothing to do with using a blown-out white backdrop. It has everything to do with how everything is arranged to make the floor blend into the backdrop along with a slight reflection underneath.” Source: See post titled “Amazon’s Patent”

I suppose some might argue that some photographer somewhere has used this technique but it never occurred to him or her that the idea was patentable and it might be interesting to see if Amazon’s Patent is challenged. Whether or not Amazon has a legitimate patent I decided over the weekend to see how quick and simple it might be to build a DIY photo light box.

I repurposed a plastic and fabric cat condo that our cats tore up (all I had left that was salvageable was one cube) and attached a pillow case to the top rear crossbar with chip clips (you can also use binder clips).

I didn't iron the pillow case and used ordinary room lighting to avoid accidentally infringing on Amazon's patent.

Is Amazon’s patent frivolous? I was a model once (now I have a face for radio) so, does this mean I can submit a patent for the male runway strut? As Rockwell suggests, Amazon likely has a legitimate patent contrary to what many critics claim.