updated 04:49 pm EDT, Mon September 10, 2012
No deal on horizon
A Friday court filing, made public today, confirms that Apple and HTC have met in recent weeks to conduct court-ordered settlement talks, FOSS Patents reports. One session is said to have happened the week of August 13th, while a second took place "more recently." The filing notes that more talks are planned. "While the private parties did not reach a settlement, there is an understanding that the private parties will continue settlement discussions in the future," the document reads. "The private parties have made good-faith efforts to resolve this Enforcement Proceeding and will continue to do so."
HTC and Apple have been fighting various battles in court since Apple launched a patent infringement suit against the company in early 2010. Like Samsung and other targets, HTC has had to borrow patents from others or claim Apple is infringing patents that are in fact standards-essential in order to mount counter-claims, a strategy that has not worked thus far for the company and has now led to HTC and others being investigated in both the US and Europe for abusing FRAND-eligible patents.
The next attempt at settling patent disputes could come on September 19th, since the US District Court for the District of Delaware originally ordered talks for August 28th, but postponed them to the later date. An agreement may be unlikely at this stage; at one point Apple and HTC actually attempted to stay all proceedings including settlement talks, but the court blocked the motion. The issue, at the time, was whether HTC had standing to assert patents it obtained from Google. More recently, HTC chairwoman Cher Wang has claimed that her company has no plans to settle any lawsuits with Apple.