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Third Delay a Charm in HD Patent Suit?

Radio groups get more time to respond to Wyncomm/DRT patent infringement claims

For the third time this year a federal judge has agreed to extend the deadline for broadcaster replies in a patent infringement case.

The patent holders, Wyncomm and its subsidiary Delaware Radio Technologies, filed suit against 14 radio ownership groups in 2013 claiming the HD Radio technology used by the radio groups infringes on U.S. patent no. 5,506,866 and two other associated patents it owns.

U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Sleet gave broadcasters a two-week extension until July 2 to reply to the suit.

The latest deadline extension was at the request of the plaintiffs and defendants to give them “additional time to discuss a possible settlement,” according to new court documents co-signed by both sides.

The short extension period granted by Judge Sleet — merely weeks instead of months — has at least one observer believing settlement discussions are likely progressing satisfactorily enough to keep both sides talking. “Certainly that is a possibility. Another is that the patentee is getting tired of agreeing to extension,” said Scott Daniels, an intellectual property attorney with Westerman, Hattori, Daniels & Adrian LLP, who believes an additional extension “seems unlikely.” Daniels is not part of the case.

Named as defendants in the federal lawsuit were Beasley Broadcast Group, CBS Radio, Clear Channel parent CC Media Holdings, Cox Media Group, Cumulus Media, Entercom, Entravision, Greater Media, Hubbard Radio, Radio Disney, Radio One, Saga, Townsquare Media and Univision.

Several radio groups contacted previously by Radio World have declined to comment on the suit citing the pending litigation.

HD Radio Patent Suit Delayed Again