Remember how in 2006, Apple (s aapl) 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.”