The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) invalidated key claims in the so-called “podcasting patent” today after a petition for review from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)—a decision that significantly curtails the ability of a patent troll to threaten podcasters big and small.
This is an amazing victory. For a couple of years now, Personal Audio and their patent hung like a dark cloud over the podcasting world. If the USPTO ever gave any serious credibility to it, they could have run wild, shutting down podcasts and demanding lots of money from what is a booming industry.
Even more remarkable is how this victory came about. After Personal Audio went after some high profile podcasts, the EFF set up a crowdsourced campaign that raised a lot of money. This victory would not have been possible without the fundraising campaign.
Along with the FCC’s decision on net neutrality earlier this year, this is starting to look like a good trend in people rallying together to make some very good changes.