Podcasting is under threat from a patent troll known as Personal Audio LLC. So far, Personal Audio has sued a handful of podcasters large and small, including Adam Carolla, HowStuffWorks, CBS, and NBC. The company claims its patent, US 8,112,504, broadly covers all forms of podcasting.
In October 2013, EFF filed a petition at the Patent and Trademark Office challenging the so-called podcasting patent owned by Personal Audio. This petition, known as an inter partes review (IPR), gives the patent office an expedited process for taking a second look at patents it has already issued. More than one thousand people donated to our Save Podcasting campaign to support our efforts.
EFF's petition shows that Personal Audio did not invent anything new, and, in fact, other people were podcasting years before Personal Audio first applied for a patent. In preparation for this filing, EFF solicited help from the public to find prior art or earlier examples of podcasting.
In April 2014, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) found that EFF has a "reasonable likelihood" of prevailing in its challenge.