A company called Personal Audio is claiming that it owns a patent that covers podcasting technology and has send podcasters letters, demanding that they pay Personal Audio to use the technology. As with many patents, this one is dangerously broad and vague, allegedly covering, well, any and all podcasting. Just take a look at this language:
Apparatus for disseminating a series of episodes represented by media files via the Internet as said episodes become available…
Of course, as with most software patents, this one fails to explain how that “apparatus” would actually work, apparently letting its owner make the ridiculous claim that essentially anyapparatus that disseminates episodes infringes its patent.
I hate patent trolling so much!