Personal Audio Speaks Out On Patent Reform In Slashdot Interview

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Lively online interview with Jim Logan posted June 24, 2013.

Personal Audio is featured in an extended interview, released today, with the readers of Slashdot who posed a series of probing questions about the company, the patent system, and the EFF’s attacks on Personal Audio. The interview has Personal Audio inventor, James Logan, wading into the “Lion’s Den” and discussing the company’s recent litigation against several large media companies infringing its patents (Personal Audio v CBS Corporation, Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division, case number 2:13-cv-00270 and Personal Audio v NBC Universal Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division, case number 2:13-cv-00271). These lawsuits have drawn criticism from the media, including a recent NPR interview ( In the Slashdot interview, Logan reminds Slashdot readers that similar media companies sued teenagers for downloading music and put FBI warnings on its DVDs—certainly they can respect the intellectual property of others.

Another part of the interview features a lively debate with Slashdot readers who insist that if you don’t produce an invention you shouldn’t be able to have, or at least license, a patent on it. Is invention therefore, with a goal to license, immoral? That was the primary business model of Edison and Tesla.

The theory behind Non-Practicing Entities, NPEs, companies who monetize patents, is discussed and some of the data used to attack these entities is dissected. Regarding the myriad legislative proposals to thwart these companies, Logan warns about killing the golden goose and the amazing incentive system that patents represent.

Finally, some back and forth is offered on the well-publicized effort by the EFF to use crowd-source funding to undermine the Personal Audio patents. Logan notes how large tech companies have co-opted the crowd-source community to go after patent holders and notes the hypocrisy of a major EFF funder who has taken a large financial stake in a well-known public NPE.

The Slashdot interview can be found at

About Personal Audio

Personal Audio, Inc., a predecessor to Personal Audio, LLC, was founded in 1996 with a mission of offering personalized media, including audio to listeners over the Internet. The self-funded company worked to develop a player that could download, store and manipulate media files to fulfill this mission. This system along with related ideas was described in patent applications filed in October 1996. The Company’s system and patent application pioneered techniques now commonly used today in MP3 players, smartphones, tablets and other devices that store and play media files and work with downloaded playlists. Other pioneering innovations included the uploading and distribution of episodic content such as podcasts and serialized television shows.

The founder of the company was James Logan, an entrepreneur who had previously been a pioneer in the touch screen industry. He founded MicroTouch Systems, which became a public company and leader in the industry, and later Gotuit Media, a pioneer in the video metadata field.

In 2009, Personal Audio, LLC was founded by Logan and co-inventor Charlie Call to market the innovations described in the patents. Robin, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. was subsequently engaged to assert the patents against Apple, Inc. and other defendants (Eastern District of Texas, Lufkin Division, case number 09-cv-00111). The complaint resulted in a jury trial in July 2011 and Apple was found to have infringed U.S. Patent 6,199,076. Today the Personal Audio patents are licensed by a number of major consumer electronics firms.

Richard Baker, Vice President of Licensing
Personal Audio, LLC
(409) 768-0009
rbaker (at) personalaudio (dot) net

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Personal Audio
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