The comedian in question is Marc Maron. He does a popular podcast, called WTF, out of his garage in California. It's an interview show, with other comedians and artists. Maron recently found an extraordinary letter in his mailbox. This letter said, basically, that by doing his podcast, out of his garage, he was violating a technology patent. His podcast was, according to the letter, illegal.
"They sent a copy of the patent with this letter," Maron says, "which looks like a large bunch of legal gibberish."
The U.S. International Trade Commission ruled Tuesday that Apple infringed on Samsung's patents in its manufacture of some older models of the iPad and iPhone, including the iPhone 4.
Credit Paul Sakuma / AP
A U.S. trade agency says Apple infringed on its Asian rival Samsung's patent in its manufacture of some older models of the iPhone and iPad.
Bloomberg reports on the order from the U.S. International Trade Commission: "It's the first patent ruling against Apple in the U.S. that affects product sales, covering models of the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3, iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G made for AT&T Inc."
The red part of the bars shows patent lawsuits brought by patent assertion Entities (PAEs, also known as "patent trolls").
Credit Colleen Chien / Patent Assertion And U.S. Innovation
On this week's This American Life, we took a close look at a patent lawsuit involving the online backup company Carbonite. Carbonite was sued for patent infringement by a shell company called Oasis Research. According to Carbonite, Oasis was seeking $20 million in damages.
This story from Planet Money's Alex Blumberg and NPR's Laura Sydell aired this weekend on This American Life. A shorter version of the piece is also airing today on All Things Considered. Here's the story.