Alexandria, Va. - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will argue at a public hearing Wednesday that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) should invalidate key claims of a patent used by notorious patent troll Personal Audio to shake down podcasters.

Personal Audio claims it owns a patent that covers podcasting, despite the fact that many examples of what we now call podcasting existed before the patent was issued. In May 2013, EFF launched its "Save Podcasting" campaign in response to Personal Audio's spate of legal threats and lawsuits. Buoyed by support from its members and the podcasting community, EFF filed a petition challenging five claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,112,504 in October 2013.

Personal Audio is known as a "non-practicing entity"—a company that doesn't do podcasting itself but instead bases its business model on demanding license fees from actual creators, from garage podcasters to major broadcasters. At this hearing, EFF's pro bono counsel will argue before the panel of USPTO judges that Personal Audio did not invent anything new or non-obvious that should entitle Personal Audio to a patent.

What: Public Hearing in IPR 2014-00070
Date: December 17, 2014
Time: 1 p.m. ET
Where: Madison Building, East Wing
Hearing Room A
600 Dulany Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

The hearing is open to the public, although hearing badges will only be issued on a first come, first served basis. The patent office asks that visitors arrive 30 minutes early and bring identification.

EFF Staff Attorney Vera Ranieri will be available for interviews directly following the hearing.

For more on EFF's challenge:


Dave Maass
   Media Relations Coordinator
   Electronic Frontier Foundation