Apple's lawyers must have created fire from rubbing their hands together after hearing about Amazon's latest patent.
The patent seemed, you see, to have grabbed the idea of taking a photograph of a product on a white background and made it entirely Amazon's.
Many were upset, incredulous even. Some subsequent interpretations suggested it was merely a patent for the particular lighting setup shown in the patent application. But still, photographers have been using similar setups for decades -- what was the US Patent Office thinking?
Stephen Colbert is patently beside himself at yet another seemingly insane patent filed by a large corporation in an attempt to enrich itself from the obvious.
He devoted a whole segment on his show to expressing his indignation.
America is, after all, the nation that first put cheese inside a pizza crust. Patents are "a fast track to Moneytown."
Amazon's apparent attempt to patent the white background drove Colbert into the white heat of frenzy. He worried, even, that displaying the Amazon logo on a white background might be contravening the patent.
He marveled at Amazon's long-winded, legalistic attempt to describe photography against a white background in labyrinthine detail. It used phrases like "longitudinal axis" and words like "cyclorama."
Taking this linguistic turn as his cue, Colbert described Amazon's patent as "male bovine fecal matter extruded on a longitudinal axis."
You and I have a shorter term for this. This term has an even shorter variation.
Colbert, though, is a man of solutions. So he has decided to file a patent on the idea of filing patents.
Surely someone must have beaten him to it, haven't they?