On 10 April, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) invalidated key aspects of patent-troll Personal Audio’s “podcasting patent” following a petition for review spearheaded by the Electronic Frontier Foundation with assistance from the Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society and other pro bono attorneys. Personal Audio had been using the patent to threaten podcasters with lawsuits unless a settlement was paid out.
ORDERED that Petitioner has shown by a preponderance of the evidence that claims 31–35 of U.S. Patent No. 8,112,504 B2 are unpatentable…
A key aspect of the successful petition was the evidence of “prior art” – podcasts or podcast-like productions that pre-dated the patent – which were researched in part through crowdsourcing.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) invalidated key claims in the so-called “podcasting patent” today after a petition for review from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)—a decision that significantly curtails the ability of a patent troll to threaten podcasters big and small…In petitions filed with Patent Office, EFF showed that Personal Audio did not invent anything new before it filed its patent application, and, in fact, other people were podcasting for years previously.
–Electronic Frontier Foundation