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Asking for Time Not Unusual When Settlements Are in Discussion

One legal expert weighs in on HD Radio patent suit development

This article has been revised.

One legal expert tells Radio World it’s not unusual for parties to ask a judge to give them more time to file their paperwork to allow for settlement talks.

Signs point to the potential of a settlement between a Delaware company and radio broadcasters it is suing for patent infringement over HD Radio technology, as we reported last week. Both sides co-signed a letter to the judge asking for a delay in a response date; it seems to indicate that both broadcasters and the plaintiffs — Wyncomm LLC and an associated accompany — are willing to discuss the idea of a settlement and begin negotiations.

The letter filed with U.S. District Court in Delaware in early February stated: “The reason for the request is to allow parties additional time to discuss settlement.” The request was accepted by the court, which delayed broadcaster responses until April 25.

Bill Ragland, a patent attorney with Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, which is not involved in the case, says it’s not unusual for opposing parties to request additional time to file responses to a patent infringement complaint in order to discuss a settlement. “The fact that the request is made jointly by the patent holder and the broadcasters is an indication that settlement discussions are underway or planned at the time of the request.”

Wyncomm LLC sued 14 radio ownership groups in November 2013 alleging patent infringement for using voice and data transmission technology for their HD Radio broadcasts.

Related: Possible Settlement in HD Patent Suit?