dr.coop Some patent trolls hide in the shadows, avoiding reporters and setting up complex mazes of shell companies to avoid scrutiny. James Logan, the owner of Personal Audio LLC, isn’t like that. His company got a little blip of publicity back in 2011, when it won an $8 million jury verdict against Apple. But it became truly infamous earlier this year when it started telling podcasters that they had to pay up for a license to its patents. But Logan didn’t back down from telling his story. When NPR’s This American Life and Planet Money ran more stories about patent trolls this summer, they featured an interview with Logan in which he defended his practice.

Then Logan even went “into the lion’s den,” fielding a question-and-answer session at Slashdot. Logan had a business sending people audio tapes by mail back in the 1990s, which he says gave him critical intellectual property rights that justify his request for money from podcasters.

Even though Logan and Personal Audio’s patents have been targeted by EFF, right now, its licensing machine seems to be rolling forward. Today the company announced that SanDisk is now a licensee to its patent portfolio. In all, Personal Audio has licensed “somewhere between one-third and two-thirds” of all MP3 audio players, the company’s licensing chief Richard Baker told Ars. Personal Audio has also licensed audio devices made by Motorola, Blackberry, LG, HTC, Samsung, and Amazon to the patents.     

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