It’s been just two days since HTC had two products, the One X and Evo 4G, were held up at U.S. customs over the International Trade Commission ban enacted last year. Now, the U.S. District Court of Deleware has ordered lawyers and other ‘decision makers’ to discuss a possible patent settlement, reports Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents.
The meeting will be overseen by Magistrate Judge Sherry R. Fallon. It’s not clear exactly who the companies will be sending, but the court order says that they “must have full authority to act on behalf of the parties, including the authority to negotiate a resolution of the matter and to respond to developments during the mediation process.”
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So whoever they are, they have to have the potential to make a decision on the matter, one way or another. In Apple’s case, that is likely to be either Apple CEO Tim Cook or its lead counsel.
The ITC ban went into effect on April 19th, 2012. The ITC said in its statement that HTC will be able to ship replacement products for defect replacement and repairs thereafter. The claim of infringement was made on U.S. Patent No. 5,946,647, a “system and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data.”
At the time, HTC issued this statement about the ruling:
We are gratified that the commission affirmed the judge’s determination on the ‘721 and ‘983 patents, and reversed its decision on the ‘263 patent and partially on the ‘647 patent. While disappointed that a finding of violation was still found on two claims of the ‘647 patent, we are well prepared for this decision, and our designers have created alternate solutions for the ‘647 patent.
HTC later added that the cause of the infringement ruling “is a small UI experience and HTC will completely remove it from all of our phones soon.”
This is apparently why HTC is shipping custom versions of Android on those devices, in order to get around the ban.
This meeting will happen just a few days before the scheduled powow between Tim Cook and Samsung CEO Gee-Sung Choi in San Francisco. That meeting will be overseen by U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero.