Patent fight brewing over podcasting and downloads

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Patent fight brewing over podcasting and downloads

Wed Jul 29, 2009 @ 03:26PM PST

By Eriq Gardner

Ipod-touch-flat_blog Patent troll alert!

VoloMedia has announced it's been awarded a patent for a method for "providing episodic media," which it claims covers podcasting and all episodic media downloads.

Company CEO Murgesh Navar made the announcement on its website in somewhat of a bizarre fashion.

Navar starts out by introducing his patent before getting a little defensive. "I do not wish to debate the merits of the U.S. patent system, but just acknowledge there are two sides to the issue of patent awards..."

If that's not a hint that VoloMedia plans to demand licensing fees and sue if necessary, how about this? "VoloMedia's intent is to continue to work collaboratively with key participants in the industry, leveraging its unique range of products to further grow and accelerate the market," Navar writes. (boldface ours)

Not convinced? OK, how about the name of a possible target?

"There will come a day when all the content on Hulu is available as an episodic download," he writes.

In other words, if Hulu ever decides to switch from commercial-supported streaming to paid downloads, VoloMedia will be watching. But forget Hulu. We just downloaded the second season of Mad Men from the iTunes Store. VoloMedia probably thinks it deserves a cut, of course. In an interview with NewTeeVee, Navar says he's in talks with Apple and TV networks, among others, "about growing the business and market."

Growing whose business?

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to

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