The EFF’s Vera Ranieri Discusses Victory in the Podcast Patent Battle
Earlier this month, the Electronic Frontier Foundation won a ruling from the US Patent and Trademark Office that the so-called Podcast Patent was invalid and obvious.
James Logan holds Patent No.US 8112504 B2 (System for disseminating media content representing episodes in a serialized sequence). Logan’s idea predates podcasting and was intended to address downloadable entertainment via the Internet to a new kind of MP3 player he was trying to market. When that failed he switched to the notion of downloaded playlists and then podcasts. Logan has never podcasted or created any podcasting relating products.
Logan lives in New Hampshire but his company – PersonalAudio – is based in Beaumont, Texas which is part of the federal court system’s Eastern District of Texas. Despite it being a largely rural area that is anything but a center for high-tech, one in four patent cases are filed in this district because of favorable juries and local rules that make it near impossible to get a frivolous case thrown out quickly. Personal Audio, like most patent trolls, does not produce anything other than patent lawsuits.
PersonalAudio sued Apple, CBS and The Adam Carolla Show among others.
Vera is a Staff Attorney on the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s intellectual property team, focusing on patent reform. Prior to joining EFF, Vera practiced at Greenberg Traurig, LLP, where she worked primarily in patent litigation, representing clients against trolls. Vera has a B.Sc. in Mathematics from Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada, where she realized too late that she should have gotten a degree in computer science, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. In her spare time, Vera loves exploring the wonderful food scene of San Francisco.