Bonum Certa Men Certa

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Demonstrates the Value of PTAB in Squashing Software Patents

Another bogus patent bites the dust, but there are many more like it out there

Hammering



Summary: Personal Audio has likely exhausted its options as the whole existence of this troll boiled down to a patent that's no longer valid

THE USPTO grants software patents; it has done so since the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit allowed it several decades ago. Things are changing though; the EFF's Mr. Nazer said yesterday that "EFF wins podcasting appeal. Federal Circuit affirms Personal Audio's patent is invalid." Personal Audio LLC is a Texas-based troll which we wrote many articles about.



This was published under the rare banner of "PRESS RELEASE" to say:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) won a court ruling today affirming that an infamous podcasting patent used by a patent troll to threaten podcasters big and small was properly held invalid by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

A unanimous decision by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will, for now, keep podcasting safe from this patent.

In October 2013, EFF filed a petition at the USPTO challenging the so-called podcasting patent owned by Personal Audio and asking the court to use an expedited process for taking a second look at the patent. More than one thousand people donated to our Save Podcasting campaign to support our efforts.


There has been press coverage since, e.g. this article which says:

A federal appeals court has upheld a legal process that invalidated the so-called “podcasting patent.” That process was held by a company called Personal Audio, which had threatened numerous podcasts with lawsuits in recent years.

On Monday, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the April 2015 inter partes review (IPR) ruling—a process that allows anyone to challenge a patent's validity at the US Patent and Trademark Office.

“We’re glad that the IPR process worked here, that we were allowed to go in and defend the public interest,” Vera Ranieri, an EFF attorney who worked on the case, told Ars. (She told Ars that her favorite podcast is Lexicon Valley.) There had been a question as to whether EFF had standing during the appellate phase of the case.


We have been following this case for a very long time and we are not surprised by the outcome because the Federal Circuit agrees with decisions like these about 80% of the time (in spite of pressure from the patent microcosm).

Will this serve as a warning sign to patent trolls that rely on software patents? Let's hope so.

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