CBS Loses Lawsuit Brought By Podcast Patent Troll, But It's Not Over Yet

from the not-over-yet dept

For a while now, we've been following the saga of Personal Audio, the patent troll who argues that patent 8,112,504 covers podcasting and all other "episodic" content delivered over the internet. There are all sorts of problems with this claim, not the least of which is how Personal Audio was able to make "changes" to the patent long after podcasting had become popular in order to make it look more like the patent covered the concept. While Personal Audio agreed to drop its lawsuits against individual podcasters, it kept its case going against the big broadcasters: CBS, NBC and Fox.

The trial (in East Texas, of course) for CBS came first and the jury sided with Personal Audio, because that's how East Texas patent juries typically roll. In a moment of semi-kindness, the jury awarded Personal Audio $1.3 million, rather than the nearly $8 million they supposedly requested. This story is really just a stepping stone, however. CBS has made it clear that it will appeal the case to CAFC, and given how software/business method patents are getting tossed out left and right these days, the company has a decent chance of prevailing. Meanwhile, the EFF reminds us that it's still working hard to invalidate the patent at the Patent Office, which would help accelerate the process of killing off these bogus lawsuits. Also, while chances are the jury verdicts for NBC and Fox won't be that different, perhaps an East Texas jury will actually get a clue one of these days...
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: episodic content, networks, patent troll, patents, podcasts
Companies: cbs, personal audio


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Thread


  1. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 8:57pm

    To stand or buckle?

    Given CBS went first and lost(which, given the case was in east Texas should surprise all of no-one), with NBC and Fox still being sued I would assume, I'm betting the troll is going to be pushing hard for them to settle rather than fight it out, using this case as 'evidence' that NBC/Fox will likely lose unless the case is heard elsewhere, and it'll just be quicker to pay the parasite off.

    Hopefully NBC/Fox will hold their ground and wait and see how the appeals go, rather than folding, but with how screwed up the system is, where defending yourself still takes obscene amounts of money, I worry they'll just take the easy way out and pay up.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories
.

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.