EFF Files To Invalidate Bogus 'Podcasting' Patent That Is Being Used To Shakedown Famous Podcasters

from the hope-it-works dept

We've written a few times about the patent troll "Personal Audio" which claims to hold a patent (US Patent 8,112,504) that it says covers podcasting. With this patent it's been busy shaking down the creators of a bunch of popular podcasts. The company's owner and his lawyer recently asserted (somehow, without laughing) that their patent was "the roadmap" for podcasting, even though no one involved in the early days of podcasting was even remotely aware of the patent.

It's taken some time, but the EFF has been targeting this particular patent, and has now officially challenged the patent seeking to get it invalidated.
"Bad patents like this one slow down innovation—exactly the opposite of what the patent system was intended to do," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Julie Samuels, the Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents. "We are thrilled to challenge this bad patent and make the world safer for creators and podcasters."
The process involving these kinds of things is very slow and convoluted, but hopefully this patent can be busted, and podcasters won't have to live in fear of a shakedown letter from Personal Audio.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 10:05pm

    There is something really wrong with the US patents system!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 11:59pm


    Before Apple branded it 'pod' casting, episodic casts on the net were call 'web' casting. They predate this patent.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    PaulT (profile), Oct 17th, 2013 @ 12:13am

    Re: WEBcasting

    Sadly, no. Look at the previous article - "this is actually a "child" patent of an earlier application, so they can argue a priority date from back in 1996."

    Stop with the Apple hate this time, this is pure patent bullshit that's predicated on the fact that some podcasters have found a way to make money, not that Apple's name for them has become the most popular.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 12:26am

    Re: WEBcasting

    Indeed. But they don't predate the seeded patent, which is from 1996, before the Web really took to the mainstream.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 1:29am

    Actual inventor of the podcast...

    My old boss, Doug Kaye, is widely credited with being one of the inventors the podcast - he was among the first to put an MP3 in an RSS feed.


    That was way before 2012 and given that he was a recording engineer & software developer in the late 1970's, I'd be very surprised if he hadn't thought of it eons ago.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    gyffes, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 4:16am

    Re: Actual inventor of the podcast...

    Sooooo... it's Doug Kaye's fault (for not patenting his idea) that we suffer this Trollish Fool?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 6:25am

    Don't pay a hostage taking patent troll

    Why don't the people getting sued by this patent troll simply announce it on their podcast and give the troll bad PR. Don't give in to a bully, bully them back. Tell them you'd rather go bankrupt on legal fees invalidating their patent then pay their ransom.

    For the same reason I'd never give 1 cent to a hostage taker if they kidnapped my family, since it'll just encourage them to take more people hostage to collect ransom, because it works.

    Drug gangs in Mexico have diversified into the kidnapping business for the same reason patent trolls do this shakedown tactic, because victims families are dumb enough to pay the hostage takers millions of dollars in ransom.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    TheLastCzarnian (profile), Oct 17th, 2013 @ 7:15am

    Re: Re: WEBcasting

    Naw, keep on hatin'. Apple is still a troll. who else would mold their case to match the shape of internal components, PATENT it, and SUE their own supplier? (Yeah, PCBs are rectangular)
    "Rounded corners" (rolls eyes)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Tom Gallagher, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 7:37am

    Stupid Patents

    The process for invalidating a patent inside the PTO (you can also do it in a federal court) is no more complicated nor convoluted than the process for getting a patent.

    Mark Cuban thinks that all process patents should be banned. Mark Cuban is stupid.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. icon
    Dirkmaster (profile), Oct 17th, 2013 @ 9:24am

    Re: Stupid Patents

    Cuban may be a lot of things, but stupid isn't one of them.

    And I'm sure that many here would like to here your reasons for WHY process patents SHOULDN'T be banned. I, for one, agree with him that they hurt a lot more than they help.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 17th, 2013 @ 10:45am

    Re: Stupid Patents

    So everyone who disagrees with you is stupid, end of story? Or are you going to give us your reasoning not only for why process patents should be allowed and for why Mark Cuban is an idiot? Dirkmaster is right, we'd be very interested in hearing your rationale.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. icon
    Atkray (profile), Oct 17th, 2013 @ 12:09pm

    Re: Re: Stupid Patents

    Uh, I made the mistake of checking the link in his name....

    "Paraphrasing F. Scott Fitzgerald “Ideas are like balloons, they belong to whomever is holding the string.” I provide strings for the creators of ideas."

    .... he thinks that you can own an idea.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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