Five years ago, a patent troll called "Personal Audio" started demanding money from podcasters, claiming that their patent on mailing cassette tapes of people reading magazines (a ridiculous patent on its face) also covered podcasting.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation crowdfunded tens of thousands of dollars from podcasting fans to challenge the patent, and the patent troll retaliated by filing privacy-invading motions to draw out the litigation, funding their war-chest by racking up million-plus awards from big companies found to have violated their ridiculous patent.
In 2015, the US Patent and Trademark Office invalidated the Personal Audio patent's key claims. Naturally, the troll appealed and yesterday, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the USPTO's ruling that the patent was invalid, driving a final stake through the heart of the shakedown operation.
Personal Audio challenged the Patent Office decision, but the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit agreed with us that the patent did not represent an invention, and podcasting was known before Personal Audio’s patent was applied for.
“We’re pleased that the Federal Circuit agreed that the podcasting patent is invalid,” said Daniel Nazer, Staff Attorney at EFF and the Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents. “We appreciate all the support the podcasting community gave in fighting this bad patent.”
“Although we’re happy that this patent is still invalid, Personal Audio could seek review at the Supreme Court,” said Vera Ranieri, Staff Attorney at EFF. “We’ll be there if they do.”
EFF Wins Court Ruling Upholding Invalidation of Bad Patent That Threatened Podcasters
Redbox buys DVDs and then rents them through automated kiosks, including DVDs from Disney that come with download codes to watch the videos through a DRM player.
Every three years, the US Copyright Office creates temporary exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's ban on breaking DRM, provided that people can show that they've been prevented from doing something customary and legitimate with their own property.
In Did Congress Really Expect Us to Whittle Our Own Personal Jailbreaking Tools? -- a new post on EFF's Deeplinks blog -- I describe the bizarre, unfair and increasingly salient US Copyright Office DMCA exemptions process, which is underway right now.
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The web is vast, and while there’s room for everyone, competition is stiff when it comes to landing on that first page of a Google search. That’s why developers aren’t afraid to spend exorbitant amounts of time and money on search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure their sites rank higher than others. However, not all […]
Many of us enjoy the aesthetic of vintage electronics, but trying to use most hardware from the 1950’s isn’t necessarily practical. This is especially true where speakers are concerned. While most of us can appreciate the old-school feel of retro speakers, they have a hard time matching the convenience and power delivered by today’s Bluetooth speakers. […]