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
Ten years ago, Apple released the Ipad. I was in a hotel room in Seattle, jetlagged and awake at 4AM while my wife and daughter slept.
Last year, the EU adopted the incredibly controversial Copyright Directive (it passed by only five votes, and afterwards 10 MEPs said they'd got confused and pushed the wrong buttons!): now, EU member states have to create rules that require online platforms to filter all user-generated content and block it if it matches a secret, unaccountable […]
Back in 2017, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) approved the most controversial standard in its long history: Encrypted Media Extensions, or EME, which enabled Netflix and other big media companies to use DRM despite changes to browsers extensions that eliminated the kinds of deep hooks that DRM requires.
Even in horrible economic times, a few simple rules hold unshakably true. And one of those rules is that if you possess an in-demand skill, you’ll always find work — and often, at a top market salary, to boot. If you understand Big Data and how to find order from the chaos of massive stockpiles […]
We live in a disposable era. If you can’t fix a broken item with a wrap of duct tape, there’s a very strong likelihood that its next destination is the trashcan. However, that probably leads to a trigger-finger death sentence for many household items that could be saved with just a bit more ingenuity. Before […]
Right tool for the right job. You probably heard a parent or grandparent say it at least once at some point. And it’s true in so many cases. If you spot a small tear in your living room curtains or near to hem a pair of pants, you can always use the good old fashioned […]