Adam Carolla's Podcast Patent Battle Put to Bed


     MARSHALL, Texas (CN) - Comedy podcaster Adam Carolla has settled heated patent claims that a Texas company brought over its digital playlist technology.
     Personal Audio LLC filed its federal complaint against Lotzi Digital Inc., Carolla, several of his business partners, Ace Broadcasting and Carolla Digital. The 2013 action sought damages from the podcast's unauthorized infringement of U.S. Patent No. 8,112,504, a "system for disseminating media content representing episodes in a serialized sequence."
     Carolla in turn used his podcast and guest appearances on the popular "Nerdist" and "WTF With Marc Maron" podcasts to denounce Personal Audio as a "patent troll." The former co-host of "Loveline" and "The Man Show" then decried the suit as a money-grab against podcasting as a whole - a medium he argued is not very profitable.
     Several other podcasts joined Carolla in asking their listeners to donate to the cause, arguing that success for Personal Audio would spell the end of podcasting. Carolla's FundAnything page - Save Our Podcasts Legal Defense Fund - has raised more than $475,000.
     The parties on Friday filed an agreed motion to dismiss the suit and the defendants' counterclaims without prejudice.
     Financial details of the settlement were not disclosed, but it is possible Carolla paid nothing because Personal Audio announced in July that it did not want to sue "any podcasters making modest amounts of revenues for infringing" the patent.
     Personal Audio said Tuesday that it has dismissed podcasters from other lawsuits because "it was not worth litigating over the amount of damages involved."
     Citing the "great deal of concern in the podcasting community" over future lawsuits, Personal Audio added that it "would like to again announce that is has no intention of suing podcasters that are marking modest amounts of money from podcasting."
     "Personal Audio has not intention of suing the following podcasters: (1) the Nerdist; (2) Ear Wolf; (3) Podcast One; (4) Joe Rogan; (5) Marc Maron; and (6) Jay Mohr," the company said in a statement.
     Carolla acknowledged Tuesday that his agreement with Personal Audio bars either side from publicly discussing the case until Oct. 1 - with the exception of Personal Audio's statement.
     "I can not talk about the case, but you know I will in 40 days or so," Carolla said in Twitter post. "Thanks for all the support."