Adam_Carolla_PicturesGood news today for iTunes podcasters: Adam Carolla has won in his fight against patent trolls Personal Audio after more than a year of litigation. The outcome likely means that the patent troll will cut its losses with suing other podcasters, something it has been threatening to do with others in the community throughout the case with Carolla.

You might remember last year when we broke the story about patent trolls Personal Audio LLC going after iTunes’ top podcaster Adam Carolla. The company, which had previously sued and entered licensing agreements with Apple, Sirius, Archos, Coby, RIM, Samsung, Amazon, Motorola, and more, claimed that Carolla was infringing on a couple of its very broad and questionable patents related to audio playlists. It likely didn’t expect, however, Carolla to fight the case and raise close to a $500,000 through crowd funding to do so. 

The news of a settlement today (via the Electronic Frontier Foundation) comes after Personal Audio offered to walk away from the case last month in a press release. Carolla refused at the time and decided to continuing fighting in court, but the exact terms of the settlement ultimately reached between the two parties have not yet been disclosed.

Personal Audio tries to claim that it decided to drop the case after discovering that podcasters were not “making significant money from infringing Personal Audio’s patents,” but it’s pretty clear the company decided to cut its losses after Carolla remained committed to fighting back and paying estimated legal costs of around $1.5 million to fight the case. As pointed out by EFF, the settlement means Carolla won’t have the ability to invalidate the patent in court, but the case as a whole will hopefully prevent Personal Audio from going after other podcasters. I’m sure we’ll be getting all the details straight from Carolla when a quiet period for the case lifts at the end of September.

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8 Responses to “Good news for iTunes podcasters: Adam Carolla just beat patent trolls Personal Audio”

  1. This isn’t actually good news, it’s sad that it didn’t go the distance. Great news would have been Personal Audio’s case being found meritless. However patent invalidation would require a separate proceeding with the USPTO – that doesn’t cost anywhere near as much money and if Carolla’s settlement terms don’t prevent it, he should file with the USPTO for a re-examination and invalidation request. At the very least he should donate as much money as it takes to have someone else follow this through.

    It won’t help invalidate all software patents, but it’s a step in the right direction.


    • b9bot says:

      Okay, but since we don’t know the details of the settlement yet how do we know that something in the settlement won’t prevent them from going after others? I think we should wait till after the quiet period and find out those details before claiming that this is not good news. He obviously had enough on this case to stop them at some point. So there still is ammunition left somewhere.


    • He was pretty adamant that he didn’t want to “settle”, and that he wanted to make sure this was over. I don’t think he’d back out and take an easy settlement after all the talk he’s made about crushing them.


    • And I’m pretty sure that he did file for invalidation, but that the process was going to be super long. He talked about that within the past couple of weeks. He tried to get the trial delayed until after the invalidation process had run it’s course but the court wouldn’t allow it.


  2. sundevil71 says:

    How do you get from this that he won? He settled the case, settlement not disclosed, and the EFF is still in litigation with these pests. There was no victory – some positives can be inferred – but this is not over by any means.


  3. moofer1972 says:

    They’ll go after someone with less money to fight.


  4. b9bot says:

    Great job Adam Carolla!


  5. As a Carolla fan and supporter of the FundAnything campaign I’m very disappointed that my (and other’s) money only went to Carolla’s personal defense when the campaign was billed as an effort to “save podcasting as we know it”, which now cannot happen since he won’t have the ability to seek the invalidation of the patent. I’m glad he “won” but this isn’t nearly the victory it could have been.