The US Supreme Court has completed a longstanding patent battle over podcasts, Personal Audio v. Electronic Frontier Foundation to hear and handed the latter – and thus companies such as Apple and Google.
Personal Audio, often referred to as the Patent Troll, has been calling on paccasters such as Adam Carolla for years and addressed large tech companies such as Apple. Podcasts are named after Apple's iPod, and the company has been instrumental in adopting the name and serving as a distribution partner on iTunes.
Carolla raised about $ 500,000 from his supporters to fight his case and eventually settle out of court. Personal Audio was able to win $ 8 million from Apple for breaching two related patents.
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Personal Audio was originally founded by Jim Logan, who in the late 1990s attempted to market a digital music player. When the company failed, Logan turned to the patent to decorate royalties from well-known podcasters.
Beyond the podcasting patent, Personal Audio used related IP against technology companies such as Apple, Google, and Samsung to varying degrees of success. One of the biggest gains came from the company's 2009 lawsuit against Apple over iPod playlists, which ended in a $ 8 million payday for the NPE.
With the intervention of the Supreme Court, Apple's prominence in the podcast sector is likely to persist. Podcasts hosted on iTunes can be played on both Mac and Windows PCs, as well as on iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs, and the remaining iPod model Touch.
A striking gap was the Apple Watch. The wearable can be used to control iPhone playback, but podcasts can not be officially synced with local storage. This has led to cumbersome workarounds from third-party vendors, although Apple has been able to solve the problem with watchOS 5, which is expected to be announced in June 2018 at WWDC 2018.