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

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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.

Source: Reuters