A federal appeals court in Washington has dealt another blow to a patent holding company looking for damages from CBS for allegedly violating a patent tied to podcasts. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has rejected a petition filed by Personal Audio seeking the full circuit review a decision handed down in January by a three-judge panel. The appeals court also sent the case back to a federal court in Texas which had ruled CBS didn’t need to pay $1.3 million for allegedly violating a patent held by Personal Audio.
The case has hinged on U.S. Patent No. 8,112,504 which is described as a system for organizing audio files, by subject matter, into “program segments.” The issue first came to the forefront in 2013 when Personal Audio began demanding royalties from podcasters based on its contention that the patent first designed for cassette tapes should be applied to podcasts too. That patent was later cancelled by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office but not before a Texas jury ruled in 2014 that CBS should pay $1.3 million in damages for infringement. CBS and Personal Audio had agreed to put the case on the backburner until the larger question of whether the patent was valid was decided.
As Podcast News Daily reported earlier this year, CBS has argued that Personal Audio’s claims have become moot since its patent has been invalidated. And it says the patent company should be forced to help cover the money CBS has spent defending itself. But Personal Audio has argued that the jury’s award shouldn’t be impacted by the patent revocation that came months later.
In its April decision, the appeals court sided with CBS when it said the district court in Texas should not have heard a challenge to the patent ruling and so it therefore didn’t have the jurisdiction to review the decision handed down by the judge. The three-judge panel said only a full panel of the circuit’s judges could make such a precedent-setting decision, but the latest ruling indicates that’s not something the judges want to do. Personal Audio could now file an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court.