Following a charge by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has invalidated the key elements of the patent that Personal Audio was using to demand license fees from podcasters. Personal Audio had claimed that it invented the audio format, and was using this patent as a basis for high-profile lawsuits against comedian Adam Carrola and against three different television networks. The EFF’s argument was that Personal Audio had not invented anything new, and that the technique should not have been patented because it would have been obvious to other developers at the time.
“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,” EFF Staff Attorney Daniel Nazer said.
Personal Audio does have the right to appeal the decision, but it has not given any comment thus far about the ruling.