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Podcasting News: CBS Loses to Podcast Troll in Texas Court

On Monday the so-called podcast patent troll, Personal Audio, won in court against CBS. A Marshall, Texas jury found that the television network had infringed on Personal Audio’s podcasting patent, rejecting CBS’s argument that the patent was not valid to begin with. The jury awarded damages of $1.3 million to Personal Audio.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Daniel Nazier notes that the amount awarded is likely less than CBS spent on its defense. It’s also probably not the windfall the patent holder was hoping for. Nevertheless, the verdict is disappointing for podcasters and others who doubt the applicability of Personal Audio’s 1996 patent to episodic audio and video content now available online.

Nazier also points out that this is not the end of the road. First, the EFF is continuing to pursue its challenge to the patent at the US Trademark and Patent Office. He also reports that a previous patent troll challenge that was in lost in Texas courts was later victorious when it was appealed to Federal Circuit court.

Personal Audio recently settled with Adam Carolla and said it doesn’t intend to go after other independent podcasters. However its suits against FOX and NBC are still going forward.

In happier news, podcaster Marc Maron’s semi-autobiographical and eponymously titled IFC television show has been renewed for a third season. Production begins in the fall for episodes that will debut in spring 2015.

We cover podcasting news every Wednesday in our Podcast Survivor feature.


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