A patent troll known as Personal Audio LLC has been on a rampage to collect royalties from podcasters across the land, claiming that it invented “episodic content.” In its latest victory, a jury in East Texas this week ordered media giant CBS to pay the troll $1.3 million.
The news comes after comedian Adam Carolla fought the troll to an apparent stalemate last month, but failed to kill its patent. As a result, [company]Personal Audio[/company] remains free to continue its shakedown racket, which involves demanding a license fee from anyone who produces a podcast — and threatening them with expensive litigation if they refuse.
The premise of the lawsuits appears to be absurd given that the troll’s “invention” is, in the words of one critic, “nothing more than an online table of contents.” Still, Personal Audio has flourished since, under the twisted business model of patent trolling, the trolls’ targets face a terrible choice: either settle or face hellish legal costs and a potential jury…
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