Apple, Google CEOs In Secret Talks For Patent Disputes [Report]

Apple, Google CEOs In Secret Talks For Patent Disputes [Report]

Steve Jobs famously declared a thermonuclear war on Google’s alleged iPhone copycat Android OS, but the full-on battle between the companies may be prevented before more of their lawyers have broken out of the trenches. A Reuters report this morning revealed Google’s Larry Page and Apple’s Tim Cook are planning on conducting preliminary talks regarding the companies’ IP disputes, a series of talks which may lead to a truce deal in the upcoming months.

According to Reuters, Cook and Page were scheduled to meet again later this week but that the meeting has been postponed for now. The source of the reveal said it is not known whether the CEOs are discussing a “broad settlement” over all of the companies’ disputes or whether the talks are focusing on specific infringement features in Android.

Last week, Apple won a huge damages sum of more than $1B in a patent infringement case against Samsung, which led to speculation about lawsuits against Android, the base operating system included in Samsung’s copycat products. Apple is pursuing immediate injunctions against eight of Samsung smartphones named in the case and a hearing on the matter has been set for early December.

Android is a Linux-based “open-source” operating system and was released in 2008 as a multi-company project led by Google called the Open Handset Alliance. Under the terms of the alliance, Google creates the base architecture of the system and provides it to partner companies, like Samsung and HTC, for free. Google receives revenue from the project based on included mobile ads.

The Android OS has already faced a few legal challenges. In 2010, Oracle sued Google for infringements on its patents for the Java language but two years later a federal judge found Google did not infringe. The judge in that case based his ruling on Google’s assertion it used an open-source environment of Java software calle Apache Harmony. Microsoft has also sued Google because of alleged licensing infringements.

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  • daftpaolo

    “secret” ?

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  • RaptorOO7

    I don’t see Google worrying about Apple anytime soon since the base Android OS does not violate any patents Apple has. Google took the necessary precautions to design around any conflicts. Clearly what Google is trying to do is come allow cooler, smarter minds to prevail now that Jobs is gone (along with his 2 year old mentality and temper tantrums) Google has plenty of IP and power it serves neither party to continue the battles.

    Those who want Android buy Android, those who want iOS buy iOS its really that simple. Price point and features are a deciding factor for many and not everyone is blind.

    Finally a jury who failed to follow their instructions, rules of law and failed to actually pay attention during a trial does not mean the verdict will or won’t stand. Appeals will take as long as it took for this to get to trial to begin with. Samsung will work with Google to design out any “infringements” until those patents are either finally upheld or invalidated which could very well happen.

  • closetnerd

    Seems like a good sign to me any talking done with out a court order seems like a step in the right direction

  • ddevito

    I don’t think google are as stupid as samsuck, thinking they can get away with all the rip offs they’ve gotten away with so far. Google will be crapping their panties after the loss last week. Google don’t like to fight as it damages its so angelic profile. Looks like some common sense and respect has been applied here, and about time too. It’s dumb complaining about the “broken” patent system, while companies blatantly steal IP, willingly, just to make a dollar. Time is up. They’ll have to use their brains from here on in. Who wants to be next?

    It’s people like you that keep people like me on this site to begin with…

    Google has steered clear of Apple’s patents with each iteration, and now with 4.1 there aren’t any (and don’t say tap to zoom because Apple actually doesn’t own that per say). Google’s a bunch of level headed people, and by the looks of it (and after ready Steve Jobs’ bio), so is Tim Cook. You seriously need to stop worrying about Google and Android and its OEMs, seriously all you do is make Apple fans look worse.

  • ddevito

    I don’t think google are as stupid as samsuck, thinking they can get away with all the rip offs they’ve gotten away with so far. Google will be crapping their panties after the loss last week. Google don’t like to fight as it damages its so angelic profile. Looks like some common sense and respect has been applied here, and about time too. It’s dumb complaining about the “broken” patent system, while companies blatantly steal IP, willingly, just to make a dollar. Time is up. They’ll have to use their brains from here on in. Who wants to be next?

    Android Jelly Bean is light years ahead of iOS6. Get your head out of your ass once and a while and look around.

About the author

Jose FermosoJose Fermoso is a freelance reporter and researcher. He has written freelance for many tech and business publications. He is a former writer for Wired.com and GigaOm. Loyal Oaklander. Twitter @fermoso.

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