Fresh off its huge $1.05 billion victory last week over Samsung in a blockbuster patent trial, Apple is now engaged in secret talks with Google to broker an end to the patent wars, according to Reuters.
Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Larry Page reportedly talked by phone last week and are planning to talk again in the next few weeks about their patent disputes on mobile devices. Reuters reports hearing from one source that the two companies are considering settling disputes over some of Android’s more basic features.
Cook and Page have not reached any formal agreement yet, but they have agreed to continue talking. At the same time, lower-level employees at the two companies are said to be in talks as well.
Apple’s former CEO Steve Jobs famously declared his intention to wage a “thermonuclear war” against Google for having ripped off the iPhone with its Android phones. However, Apple has largely avoided going after Google directly to date. Instead, Apple has targeted Google’s manufacturing partners, including HTC and Samsung.
That’s not to say Google hasn’t been involved in these patent disputes. In fact, one report earlier this month found that Google had been providing legal support behind the scenes to both HTC and Samsung. But the closest the two companies have come to a head-to-head confrontation is a lawsuit filed against Apple byMotorola Mobility, which is now owned by Google.
The fact that a U.S. court ruled Samsung had infringed on six Apple patents may put pressure on Google to find ways to work with Apple more going forward. These patents include tapping the screen to enlarge an image and the bounce-back feature that stops users from scrolling beyond the bottom of the page, both of which are used in many of the Android smartphones that Samsung produces.
Meanwhile, Cook has said in the past that he prefers to settle rather than continue the legal battles. This may be his chance to prove whether he really meant that.
Image courtesy of Flickr, lemagit