Apple and HTC in ongoing settlement talks over patent dispute

In December of last year, Apple won an ITC case against HTC. The International Trade Commission ruled that HTC’s Android products infringed on Apple’s ‘647 patent on “analyzing and linking data structures,” and banned many of them from the US.

Though HTC has since developed a workaround, Apple brought its complaint back to the ITC this summer. But at least this time they’re willing to talk about it. A new report says the two sides are in ongoing settlement talks regarding the dispute…

Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents points to a new court filing that confirms both Apple and HTC have met two times recently in an effort to reach an out of court settlement regarding their legal disagreements.

The first meeting was held back during the week of August 13th (interestingly this was during Apple’s high-profile patent trial with Samsung). And the second one was said to have been held more recently.

From the filing:

“The private parties are involved in multiple litigations and have conducted settlement negotiations. The private parties have met to discuss potential resolution of the different litigations, including this Enforcement Proceeding, including during the week of August 13, 2012 and also more recently. Persons with the requisite settlement authority participated for each party. 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 private parties have made good-faith efforts to resolve this Enforcement Proceeding and will continue to do so.”

But according to Mueller, these meetings aren’t good-natured. The patent expert says both sides have been forced by a judge to hold the settlement talks — similar to the way Apple met with Samsung last month.

If that’s the case, you have to wonder what goes on in these meetings. Do attorneys from both companies just meet in a conference room and silently play on their smartphones while chewing gum for an hour?

At any rate, the two sides are to meet again next week in another settlement effort. This time, it will be court-moderated. And here’s hoping something comes of it, as we’d love to have one last patent war to worry about.