Personal Audio v. ACE Broadcasting Network

NOTE: The information and commentary contained in this database entry are based on court filings and other informational sources that may contain unproven allegations made by the parties. The truthfulness and accuracy of such information is likely to be in dispute. Information contained in this entry is current as of the last event mentioned in the "Description" section below; additional proceedings might have taken place in this matter since this event.

Summary

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Date: 

01/07/2013

Status: 

Pending

Location: 

Texas

Disposition: 

Lawsuit Filed

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
In 1996, James Logan applied for a patent for an "an audio program and message distribution system in which a host system organizes and transmits program segments to client subscriber locations." This patent-now held through Logan's company, Personal Audio-was issued... read full description
Parties

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

ACE Broadcasting Network, LLC; Lotzi Digital, Inc.

Type of Party: 

Organization

Type of Party: 

Organization

Location of Party: 

  • Texas

Location of Party: 

  • California

Legal Counsel: 

John M. Jackson, David Folsom, Matthew C. Acosta (Jackson Walker LLP)
Description

In 1996, James Logan applied for a patent for an "an audio program and message distribution system in which a host system organizes and transmits program segments to client subscriber locations." This patent-now held through Logan's company, Personal Audio-was issued in 2001, though the device described was never created. Logan applied for another patent, frequently referred to as the "podcast patent," in 2009. As issued in February 2012, this patent (No. 8,112,504) described a similar audio program and message distribution system, modified and described in more detail to better reflect contemporary podcasting.

In the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on January 7, 2013, Personal Audio filed a complaint against ACE Broadcasting Network for infringement of its 2012 patent, No. 8,112,504. In the complaint, Personal Audio alleged that ACE Broadcasting infringed on the '504 patent by providing several podcasts, including "The Adam Carolla Show" podcast. Personal Audio argues that in these podcasts, ACE Broadcasting "uses servers, data storage and other Internet hardware and software in a manner that directly and literally infringes" the claim describing the apparatus for disseminating podcast episodes online. In the alternative, Personal Audio argued that even if ACE Broadcasting's podcasts were not literally infringing, patent infringment should still be found under the doctrine of equivalents.

Personal Audio amended its complaint on May 10, 2013 to "name the correct entities with respect to patent infringement." Personal Audio's substantive arguments remained the same, while the named defendants were amended to include those parties Personal Audio believed responsible for "The Adam Corolla Show": Lotzi Digital, Inc. and a partnership including ACE Broadcasting.

On July 10, 2013, Lotzi Digital filed its answer, asserting no infringement, literal or otherwise. Among its defenses, Lotzi Digital argued that the '504 patent is invalid under Patent Act sections 101 (subject matter), 102 (novelty), 103 (obviousness), and/or 112 (disclosure and enablement). Under these same theories, Lotzi Digital counterclaimed for a declaration that the '504 patent is invalid. 

In response to this suit, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has started a campaign to "save podcasting" and has partnered with Harvard's Cyberlaw Clinic to investigate the '504 patent, including research of prior art that may invalidate the patent.

Details

Content Type: 

  • Audio

Publication Medium: 

Podcast

Subject Area: 

  • Patent
Court Information & Documents

Jurisdiction: 

  • Texas

Source of Law: 

  • United States

Court Name: 

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas: Marshall Division

Court Type: 

Federal

Case Number: 

2:13-cv-00014

Relevant Documents: