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Apple gets camera patent, GoPro stock plummets

The entire question came up because the Patent Office just granted Apple a patent for a remote-control camera system. Basically, it's a way to remotely trigger a camera to take a picture using something like a smartwatch.

Honestly, that doesn't sound like it should be patent-able, but I'll leave that aside for the moment to focus on GoPro.

On the news of Apple's patent, GoPro's stock took a 12% hit, down to $49.87. Investors are worried that Apple might be making a move toward the camera market, that a remote-triggered iPhone recording video might cut into GoPro's sales, and that GoPro will end up in a legal battle if it wants to add a similar feature to its own cameras.

For the record, you can already use a smartphone or tablet to control a GoPro camera, so lawyers are probably going to be sorting this one out for a bit.

Neither GoPro nor Apple has commented on this yet. If I was GoPro, I wouldn't be too worried since Apple files patents all the time that rarely get used. Plus, a rugged camera doesn't really hold with Apple's image of cool, hip elegance. It's more likely you'll see this as a feature in the Watch and that's about it.

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Source: Bloomberg
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