New ruling major blow to podcast patent troll

Back in 2013, a company called Personal Audio LLC filed lawsuits against three large podcasting companies: How Stuff Works, TogiEntertainment, Inc., and ACE Broadcasting. They also are said to have sent letters to smaller individual podcasters, like Marc Maron, producer of WTF.

Today should be a happy day for the podcasting industry, as a major ruling dealt a setback to Personal Audio’s ability to demand fees from podcasters.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation had petitioned for a review of the patent in question after raising more than $76,000 from the public via a crowd-funding campaign to cover its legal costs.

It said that Personal Audio should never have been given ownership rights to a way to create an updateable electronic table of contents.

The US Patent Office has now invalidated critical parts of related intellectual property rights it had previously granted to Personal Audio in 2012.

Here’s a link to the EFF press release.

And here’s Marc Maron’s tweeted response to the news.

[Hat tip to Rob Richman]