Luma Loop Camera Strap Killed Off After Patent Awarded to Black Rapid

It’s not just big tech companies engaged in patent wars: Luma Labs has discontinued their Luma Loop and Luma LoopIt camera straps after Black Rapid was awarded a patent for camera slings with sliding connections on November 1st. In an open letter to customers, the company writes,

We did our research, consulted our lawyers, and found more than enough prior art related to this concept.

[…] the idea of a sliding camera sling isn’t an amazing new invention. It’s just a really good idea that’s been around for a while and which has been iteratively developed. Neither we nor our lawyers believed that the USPTO would grant a patent for the claims related to this concept. It was a surprise, then, when our competitor was granted a patent covering the concept on November 1st, 2011. To say that we’re disappointed that the USPTO couldn’t find the prior art around the idea is an understatement.

Not wanting to engage in a costly legal battle, Luma Labs has decided to killed off their main products. Despite this setback, the company is planning on sticking around: it’s working on a new strap concept that will be released in December.

An open letter to our customers, past and future [Luma Labs]

Thanks for the tip, Kim!

  • Anonymous

    A patent filing without the illustrations is useless.

    If you look at the patent, please look at all the illustrations.  The patent examiner must have rubber stamped this or done absolutely no work to look for prior art.  They even patented inserting an eye bolt into the tripod pocket.  Even the quick release variation of it isn’t novel.

  • Guy

    The patent system in the USA needs to be bombed from orbit. The USPO has garnered a reputation for being sloppy and ill-informed, and knows it can continue doing this because ultimately money is being squeezed from patents, and everything is always about money, right? The US patent system, like the US banking system, will collapse under the weight of its own greed and shortsightedness.

  • Samsonite

    Companies are getting better at viral marketing. Blogs are getting worse identifying it.

  • Jonathan Yao

    You could have at least use a current picture of the Luma Loop.  That picture is of version 1.

  • Clicky

    I believe that to be a true statement.

    However, I don’t think it’s relevant in this case.

  • Clicky

    Patents are supposed to encourage innovation, not stifle competition.

  • Sproketholes

    yeah Mr B.Rapid is a real piece of work.. hes crossed my path.. he saw my hand-made loop strap which I made out of seatbelt material and a split-ring and a le-clip from leicagoodies about 6 years ago in the shop where I work, and he said ‘oh great idea’ and then came in again about six months later and told me that I was infringing on his copyright… I wasnt the first with the idea, and no I didnt copyright it, but to be made to feel like a criminal for giving him the idea in the first place, kinda make me sick.

  • Scott

    So is this means every camera sling company out there have to stop their’s products or get sued?

  • Patrick Ahles

    First, IANAL. AFAIK, they don’t have to stop manufacturing, but they can’t do business in in the USA.

  • donart

    Once again the Patent Office proving that it gives employment to people who ‘don’t get out much’.   The system needs to be overhauled, they are merely encouraging those who have the brass neck to claim generally used concepts as their own.  Unfortunately in the process they are making these undeserving people very rich, and ultimately we are all paying fir it.

  • Andi

    That’s interesting. Do you mean Le Clip or Le Hook and did you carry your camera upside down like BR? Did you have your camera sling then somehow documented? Then the patent would become void.

  • Muyiwa

    I’ve had a blackrapid strap for about 3 years now. The first time I saw the Luma Loop, I was alarmed on their behalf. I’m kind of happy to see them stop getting ripped off.

  • FraggleRock

    So is that the “cool” thing to do now? Defend the rip off companies and demonize the companies who took the risk and stuck their neck out there in the first place? Sad.

  • icie

    My feeling is that if BlackRapid does engage in litigation wars, it will probably be targeting bigger competitors first like the Sun Sniper and the C-Loop before it goes on to Luma Labs.

  • Anonymous

    Blackrapid didn’t invent this. They just got their patent application rubberstamped by a moron in the patent office.

  • Anonymous

    Blackrapid didn’t invent anything. The same concept has been around for at least 100 years. They are just abusing the patent system.