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WinTech Legal Insight for Start-Up and Established Technology Businesses

The Adam Carolla Show v. Patent Trolls

Posted in E-Commerce (Internet Agreements and Issues), Intellectual Property Litigation, Technology News & Events, Technology Transactions

The Adam Carolla Show was sued last year in the Eastern District of Texas by a company claiming that Carolla’s podcasts violate their patent.  Rather than bend over and settle out of court with the claimant, Adam Carolla has taken a stance against the so-called patent troll.

Earlier this year, Julie Samuels made an appearance on an episode of the Adam Carolla Show.[1]   Samuels is a Senior Staff Attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation and holds the “Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents.”  In 2011, according to Samuels, Apple and Google for their first time spent more money on matters relating to patents than actually performing Research and Development (R&D).  In fact, Apple claims that it has faced nearly one-hundred patent lawsuits within the last three years from firms demanding royalty payments.  And even though some people do not sympathize with large, profitable companies such as Apple and Google, the costs created by patent trolls can ultimately affect consumers because of the decreased amount of money available for R&D.

Samuels went on to explain that for small businesses such as the Adam Carolla Show, patent trolls can be detrimental because those companies cannot afford to defend their patent lawsuits.  Carolla believes that his lawsuit affects millions of podcasters and listeners, and many of them are passionate about stopping patent trolls.  Accordingly, the Adam Carolla Show is crowdfunding their litigation expenses.

Adam Carolla held a concert last month at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center as part of his legal defense crowdfunding campaign on FundAnything.com.[2]   Special guests included Jimmy Kimmel, Marc Maron, KROQ’s Kevin and Bean, Dr. Drew, Doug Benson and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist Andy Summers (formerly of the Police).  Visitors of the FundAnything website are asked to contribute to the legal defense fund, but Carolla’s fundraiser show is available to download for free.  Supporters may also purchase merchandise, some of which contain a logo and the slogan, “THEY HOLD THE PATENTS—WE HOLD THE POWER.”  As of April 9, Carolla has raised $323,857, according to the FundAnything website.

In addition to the FundAnything campaign, a large banner across the top of the Carolla website is also currently soliciting bitcoin donations for the legal defense fund.[3]   Carolla recently had Adam White, from Coinbase, as a guest-caller on the show to provide an overview of bitcoins.[4]   White also expressed his support for Carolla fighting the patent trolls.

Stay tuned to the WinTech Blog for further developments on Carolla’s crowdfunded battle against patent trolls.


[1] http://adamcarolla.com/julie-samuels-ray-oldhafer-and-deaf-frat-guy/

[2] https://fundanything.com/en/campaigns/patenttroll

[3] http://adamcarolla.com/

[4] http://adamcarolla.com/greg-proops-and-adam-white/