Dropping the trademark infringement case is fine. I never saw the point of the case and what Augme could actually collect that would be material.
A plaintiff requesting a stay is very odd. I do not understand the strategy and my immediate reaction is that they are trying to save money, which I think is a mistake. That is just my interpretation though.
Based on the events I do not see a settlement in the near future. AOL has no incentives to settle.
Flyers, I tend to agree with your interpretation that they are trying to save money. Hussey has clearly demonstrated that his top priority is to get Augme to break even as soon as possible. However, regarding incentive to settle, I am a little more optimistic. AOL is in a very vulnerable position if McMahon rules in Augme's favor regarding the term "associated with", and there are legal precedents which argue in favor of Augme's definition of the term. The outcome of the re-exam of "636" is still out there, but is as much of an uncertainty for AOL (and TWX) as it is for Augme. "Settlement" is all about leverage; if either or both of the two pending legal rulings go against AOL they lose much or most of their leverage. I am fairly sure Augme's decision to ask for a "stay" is purely financially motivated, and that is why the defense attorneys are now wanting to continue with the case, as it will add to Augme's legal fees, and remove some of OUR leverage. If I am AOL, I am willing to at least consider a reasonable settlement, and avoid running the risk of two pending rulings removing most of the bargaining power I have at the table. Just IMO.
Not sure I agree with that. If McMahon rules in Augme's favor on the one remaining claim term "associated with", AOL is in big trouble. Augme's position is strong on that term and they rely on the common dictionary definition. They even site previous cases where the term is already defined by other judges exactly as they are asking her to rule. She can't redefine a word already subject to previous claims construction rulings. If they lose that one last term, the entire Markman will have gone against them and AOL will be facing damages in trial well into the hundreds of millions at trial, and subject to possible treble damages. They will have lost considerable leverage to settle. That loss too would affect the TWX case weakening it and adding their own damages to the mix. Remember AOL argued relentlessly to get TWX out of the case but recently lost their motion to dismiss. Also, AOL knows that if the 636 patent comes through re-exam, they are also in huge trouble as is TWX. Therefore, AOL now has considerable incentive but limited time to try and settle prior to both these possible occurences coming to fruition. If those two unknowns go in Augme's favor, AOL is in deep trouble. It's virtually game over because remember their entire defense in the Tacoda case was based on embedded. They already admitted without the word embed being in question, they infringe Augme's IP. The 691 patent removed the word and their entire defense. I see them having a ton of incentive to settle right now and I wouldn't be surprised in the least if AOL has reached out knowing this. Just my opinions.
I'm pretty certain there is more going on behind the scenes. Bob is a fixer and does things in a very methodical and calculating way. I think had he been CEO the entire time, there would already be some licenses in place versus having taken such an adverserial litigation posture against companies so much larger. I don't think filing this many suits at once was ever advisable by the ex CEO. I know Bob wants to buy shares and feels the stock very undervalued. The fact he hasn't only tells me there is something material in process stopping him from doing so. The most likely thing that could pertain to is to outstanding litigation. Whatever the reason, I'm confident Bob knows exactly what he is doing and why.