Podcast patent troll's fight might finally be over

Swapna Krishna

We've been covering the frankly absurd claim that Personal Audio LLC owns podcasting for awhile now, but it looks like the patent trolls have finally been stopped for good (for real this time). Back in August, a three-judge panel of US Court of Appeals rendered the organization's patent invalid, and it looked like that was the end of this bizarre legal ride. But Personal Audio LLC wasn't quite finished. The organization's lawyers argued that this three-judge review process violated their client's constitutional right to a jury trial. This week, the appeals court rejected this argument without comment.

These lawsuits have been going on for years, but back in 2015, the core of Personal Audio LLC's claim -- that the organization invented podcasting and that podcasts should have to pay it licensing fees -- was invalidated after the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) stepped in. The EFF showed that podcast-style shows existed well before Personal Audio LLC's patent.

That's not to say this patent trolling is truly dead; Personal Audio LLC could still appeal to the Supreme Court. But it's incredibly unlikely that the highest court in the US will agree to hear the case. So, at least for now, it's likely we won't be hearing much more about this patent in the future.

EFF (1), EFF (2)

  • This article originally appeared on Engadget.