Case for Audible vs Audio Post for Patent Infringement

Why Audible Is Currently Being Sued For Patent Infringement

Jun 12, 2024

Audible — as well as Amazon and Amazon Web Services — has recently come under fire in the form of three different patent infringement complaints from a smaller audiobook company called Audio Pod IP. The plaintiff claims that Audible infringed on their “key media streaming technologies” in three different instances. Let’s discuss the details of the case as we know them so far and what lessons can be learned from this case.

The Parties

Audible is the largest audiobook producer in the country and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amazon. Audible boasts millions of audiobooks; recently, they have also begun to release Audible Originals in the form of podcasts, memoirs, live performances and series. As with many modern digital entertainment services, streaming has become a key part of what Audible does. 

Audio Pod IP, LLC is an audiobook company based in Rhode Island that has existed since 2005. They claim to have invented multiple media streaming technologies since opening, including:

  • Segmenting/sequencing large audio files for ease of download
  • Bookmarking digital content for interrupted play
  • Subscriber-paid streaming service business plan for audiobooks

Some of their innovations for audiobook streaming were referenced in a 2008 article from the Ottawa Citizen. 

The Case

In May of 2024, Audio Pod IP filed three complaints against Audible, and by extension Amazon and Amazon Web Services. In the complaints, they held that Audible had infringed on their patents by using streaming technologies that Audio Pod IP had first developed for their own audiobook service. The complaint cited the Ottawa Citizen article about their early streaming inventions. Audio Pod IP, LLC does in fact hold three patents originally granted in 2005 related to streaming inventions:

  • “Simultaneously rendering an image stream of static graphic images and a corresponding audio stream” – US10805111B2
  • “Simultaneously rendering a plurality of digital media streams in a synchronized manner by using a descriptor file” – US10237595B2
  • “Transmission of digital audio data” – US9203884B2

It remains to be seen if the court will determine that Audible infringed on those granted patents, as the complaints were only recently filed. 

Lessons To Take From This Case

The most important lesson to take from this case is to always make sure to patent all of your inventions. Without established patents, Audio Pod IP wouldn’t have a case against anyone — especially a giant like Audible. A granted patent from the USPTO is the only way to keep other companies from profiting off of your inventions…and leaving you in the dust.

At Garcia-Zamor, we stand ready to help you protect your inventions with patent research, applications, and other intellectual property advice. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you defend your innovation.