Personal Audio loses Patent Office challenge, podcasting patent remains invalidated

The Electronic Frontier Foundation announced that a panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has unanimously upheld a ruling against the Personal Audio podcasting patent. The latest court decision is another win for both the EFF and the podcasting community after a few tense years in court.

This case centers on a patent held by Personal Audio, widely regarded as a patent troll, that it claimed gave it intellectual property protections for podcasting. Personal Audio filed lawsuits against several large publishers and against comedian Adam Carolla in an effort to win licensing fees from those podcasters. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office invalidated the Personal Audio claims in April 2015, determining that the patent should not have been issued after hearing the EFF’s arguments. The Appeals Court judge panel reviewed the case after Personal Audio challenged the Patent Office’s decision.

“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,” added Vera Ranieri, EFF Staff Attorney. “We’ll be there if they do.”

Anna Washenko