The Personal Audio System
Personal Audio, Inc. was founded in 1996 with a mission of offering personalized audio to listeners over the Internet. The company worked to develop an audio player that could download, store and manipulate audio files to fulfill this mission. This system along with related ideas was described in several patent applications filed in October 1996. The Company’s system and patent application pioneered techniques now commonly used today in smartphones, tablets and other devices that store and play audio and video files that work with downloaded playlists, Other pioneering innovations included the uploading and distribution of episodic content such as podcasts and serialized television shows.
The Personal Audio patents issued starting in 1998. In 2009, Personal Audio, LLC was founded to market the innovations described in the patents and Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. was engaged to assert the patents against Apple Inc. and others. 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 electronic firms.