The Electronic Frontier Foundation on Friday announced victory against a patent troll that demanded money from podcasters.
And while the EFF says that it’s a key victory, the non-profit organization says that there’s much left to do. What’s more, the company at the center of the controversy remains in business.
A ruling from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) invalidated key claims in the “podcasting patent” held by a patent troll called Personal Audio, LLC, according to a press release from the EFF. The EFF said the ruling came down after it filed a petition for review.
Personal Audio, LLC has, since 2013, demanded licensing fees from prominent podcasters even though the company never invented anything before filing its patent application, and despite the existence of podcasting for years prior to its application.
Patent trolls make their money by enforcing patent rights against businesses and individuals, even though the patents are often vague and unenforceable. They count on their victims either lacking the financial or legal resources to fight them in court, settling claims rather than participating in long drawn out legal battles.
The EFF is focused on protecting civil liberties; the organization participates in efforts to defend free speech online, fight surveillance efforts and more.