Friday saw the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office hand down a final decision that invalidated a so-called “podcasting patent” that had been used by holder Personal Audio, LLC to sue a number of podcasters.
Today’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board decision comes after the Electronic Frontier Foundation in 2013 petitioned for a review of Personal Audio’s U.S. Patent No. 8,112,504 for a “System for disseminating media content representing episodes in a serialized sequence,” which basically describes technology for generalized subscriber-based digital audio distribution.
Using the patent, Personal Audio had attempted to collect licensing fees from such big name podcasting entities as CBS, NBC, and Fox. Personal Audio had previously taken popular podcaster and comedian Adam Carolla to court, but ended up dropping the case when it realized it would collect little in damages from him.
“We’re grateful for all the support of our challenge to this patent. Today is a big victory for the podcasting community” said EFF attorney Daniel Nazer. “We’re glad the Patent Office recognized what we all knew: ‘podcasting’ had been around for many years and this company does not own it.”
Personal Audio successfully leveraged two similar patents against Apple in 2009. That suit targeted the technology used to distribute podcasts, and did not involve actual podcasting technology.