Podcasting patent troll fights EFF on appeal, hoping to save itself

From ArsTechnica:

The owner of a patent on podcasting is hoping to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Personal Audio and its owner, Jim Logan, lost their patent last year after lawyers from the Electronic Frontier Foundation showed the US Patent and Trademark Office that various types of Internet broadcasts pre-date the patent, which claims a 1996 priority date.

The podcasting patent became famous and received national media attention after it was used to sue several high-profile podcasters, including Adam Carolla, who raised $500,000 and fought back for a time before reaching a settlement in 2014. Personal Audio had also sued several big TV networks, and its case against CBS went to a jury in September 2014. The jury found the patent valid and awarded Personal Audio $1.3 million, a victory that Personal Audio’s lawyers have noted in their appeal arguments.

The controversy is now in the hands of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the court that handles all patent appeals. A three-judge panel heard arguments over the matter earlier this month.

In its appeal brief (PDF) and at oral arguments, Personal Audio lawyer Jeremy Pitcock argues that his client’s patent, US Patent No. 8,112,504, is a significant improvement on two pieces of “prior art” that EFF successfully used to invalidate it at the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Those earlier systems include one used by CNN, which described its system for a “digital news magazine” in 1995. The other system comes from a 1996 article explaining an early Internet radio experiment by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), which broadcast online as early as 1993.

In a proceeding called an …

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