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Adam Carolla Settles With Podcasting Patent Troll 63

Personal Audio has been trying to assert patents they claim cover podcasting for some time now; in March Adam Carolla was sued and decided to fight back. Via the EFF comes news that he has settled with Personal Audio, and the outcome is likely beneficial to those still fighting the trolls. From the article: Although the settlement is confidential, we can guess the terms. This is because Personal Audio sent out a press release last month saying it was willing to walk away from its suit with Carolla. So we can assume that Carolla did not pay Personal Audio a penny. We can also assume that, in exchange, Carolla has given up the opportunity to challenge the patent and the chance to get his attorney’s fees. ... EFF’s own challenge to Personal Audio’s patent is on a separate track and will continue ... with a ruling likely by April 2015. ... We hope that Personal Audio’s public statements on this issue mean that it has truly abandoned threatening and suing podcasters. Though a press release might not be legally binding, the company will have a hard time justifying any further litigation (or threats of litigation) against podcasters. Any future targets can point to this statement. Carolla deserves recognition for getting this result.
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Adam Carolla Settles With Podcasting Patent Troll

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  • by usuallylost ( 2468686 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @08:11AM (#47702217)

    It would have been great for him to invalidate their patent. I can however see where the economics of it might not work. Especially considering that the trial was occurring in a venue considered friendly to trolls. It sounds like he, and his legal team, made a calculation and figured that they were going to spend a lot more money with no certainty that the court would do the right thing. Also with no certainty that they would be able to recover any of their non-trivial legal fees. I can see where he would decide it was time to cut his losses. The silver lining here is that if he spent over $500,000 odds are they ended up spending something similar. So this whole endeavor has likely been a big money loser for them.

  • Re:Webcast (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Curunir_wolf ( 588405 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @10:52AM (#47703321) Homepage Journal

    Better to call it a webcast, i.e. episodic publication of audio files on the Internet.

    Podcast is just Apples branding of the webcast for its iPod, and it came later.

    This patent troll claimed *podcasts* infringed on its patent, as they came later ,

    This is all completely wrong. First, Personal Audio is not technically "troll" - it didn't buy patents to troll, it actually developed the (somewhat obvious) technologies. Paul Logan is a real inventor that has brought real products to market.

    Second, there is no patent for "podcasting" at all. The Personal Audio patents are about distribution and organizing of episodic content. Yes, they had a real product that did that, until Apple incorporated the same techniques into iTunes.

    Paul Logan's Slashdot interview [] might be a little instructive for those that have only heard Adam Corolla's inflammatory fundraising scheme.

    Logan: Well, I could answer this question by arguing that I did try to build a product. That I spent $1.6 million of my own money trying to realize our vision of a custom listening experience that ended up, at the end of the day, being implemented in the form of a cassette tape product, and not the digital player system we envisioned and patented.

    When I left MicroTouch to start Personal Audio in 1996, we employed 500 people making touch screens in Massachusetts. Without those patents, we would never have gotten the company off the ground.

  • It's because we don't need tort reform, our system is pretty good. The vast majority of reasons people use for tort reform were made up by the insurance companies.

    You clearly don't know any lawyers.

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"