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Summary:

Remember how in 2006, Apple tried to stop Podcast Ready, Inc. from using the word “podcast” because it infringed on their trademarks? For a brief time, there was talk of Apple cracking-down on anyone who dared use the term in their products or services. Apple’s lawyers […]

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Remember how in 2006, Apple tried to stop Podcast Ready, Inc. from using the word “podcast” because it infringed on their trademarks? For a brief time, there was talk of Apple cracking-down on anyone who dared use the term in their products or services.

Apple’s lawyers finally relaxed (or perhaps they were distracted by 2007’s struggles with Cisco over the iPhone trademark). Today everyone uses the term with wild abandon.

Well, hold on to your hats because we’re about to see a fresh drama unfold along fairly similar lines. This time it’s not about trademarks, but about who invented podcasting. And, according to the U.S. Patent Office, that would be VoloMedia, “the leading provider of advertising and reporting solutions for portable media,” or so their website says.

Chris over at NewTeeVee reports that VoloMedia has been awarded what it called the “patent for podcasting,” and, while actual content creators will not be impacted, “delivery mechanisms other than a PC” would fall under the patent.

VoloMedia’s founder Murgesh Navar is remaining tight-lipped for now. When asked during a phone interview whether VoloMedia believes competitors are infringing on the patent and whether or not the company plans on enforcing it, founder Murgesh Navar declined to answer, saying only, “We’re not talking about violation or litigation.”

For those who want the minute details, Patent number 7,568,213 can be viewed here. The short of it, for those who just want the bottom line, is fairly straightforward. The patent is titled “Method for Providing Episodic Media” and covers, “…the fundamental mechanisms of podcasting, including providing consumer subscription to a show, automatically downloading media to a computer, prioritizing downloads, providing users with status indication, deleting episodes, and synchronizing episodes to a portable media device.”

How will this affect Apple and the lugubrious iTunes delivery system, arguably the number one method for podcast subscription? When asked about iTunes, [...] Navar indicated VoloMedia is in talks with Apple and TV networks, among others, “about growing the business and market.”

  1. Don’t know who these guys are but Adam Curry had a few words to say on this issue his most recent No Agenda Podcast NA-117. Apparently this Navar fellow was trying to start a business deal with Curry way back when. Worth a listen anyway…

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  2. Wow yet another patent granted that will fall apart if anyone out there has the money and the gumption to challenge it in court. The US Patent Office isn’t even trying anymore is it? From the wording it almost sounds like they are trying to claim RSS in their patent.

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  3. thewinchester Thursday, July 30, 2009

    I can see EFF getting involved to knock this one on the head.

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  4. Actually Apple NEVER tried to go after the term Podcast – that was just widely mis-reported in the blogisphere.

    http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/podcast411a/~5/SJFVuijqzvU/411_060925.mp3

    Here is a link to an episode that covered the whole issue of Apple and the term podcast.

    Regards,

    Rob W
    podCast411

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  5. That’s it I am patenting breathing. How can you get a patent for the way something is already being done?

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  6. Is it possible to patent something after it reaches wide public acceptance, even if you actually did invent it?

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  7. [...] On July 28, 2009, the USPTO issued patent number 7,568,213, the so-called “podcasting patent.” [...]

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  8. My thoughts on this patent: http://seattlepatents.com/2009/07/podcast-patent/

    Seems like this patent probably issued because the examiner was evaluating the claims only in light of patents and published patent applications, ignoring so-called “non-patent literature” that may have cast the claims in a different light.

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