Published in News

Podcasting patent is an ex-parrot

by on08 August 2017


Dogged out of the courts 

The so-called podcasting patent which has blighted the music industry for years and forced a number of notable companies to waste money on a licence is now officially dead in the water.

In the 1990s, the founder of Personal Audio, Jim Logan, created a company seeking to create a digital music player. The company went tits up, but years later Logan hit on a wizard wheeze where he would use those patents he had lying around to make money from companies who did make money from the idea.

Personal Audio's US Patent No. 8,112,504, which describes a "system for disseminating media content representing episodes in a serialized sequence" turned out to be a real killer, with big outfits like Apple and Samsung handing over cash to make Logan go away. In August 2014, Adam Carolla paid about $500,000. Since 2013 he sued companies over both the "episodic content" patent, as well as a separate patent, which Logan and his lawyers said covered playlists. 

To be fair Logan didn’t hide from his patent campaign. He spoke publicly about his company’s history and his reason for pursuing patent royalties, giving interviews to National Public Radio and  CBC.

As Personal Audio began to gain more public attention, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, however, stepped in and said that it would challenge the patent.  The EFF raised over $76,000, more than double its initial target to take on Personal Audio.

Now a federal appeals court affirmed the April 2015 inter partes review (IPR) ruling - a process that allows anyone to challenge a patent's validity at the US Patent and Trademark Office - that invalidated the so-called "podcasting patent."

TThis means that the patent is dead in the water and and companies will no longer have to pay Logan anything.  The company has not filed any new lawsuits since it sued Google in September 2015 over two other audio-related patents.

Last modified on 08 August 2017
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Read more about: