Apple and Google CEOs hold secret patent talks

By Peter Gothard
31 Aug 2012 View Comments
Google chief executive Larry Page

In the wake of Apple's crushing patent victory against Samsung in court late last week, Reuters reports that Apple CEO Tim Cook has been having secret phone calls with Google CEO Larry Page (pictured).

According to sources close to the companies, the conversations were about intellectual property, with a focus on mobile patent disputes.

Further reading

Page and Cook allegedly had a conversation last week, during the run-up to Apple's £665m win against Samsung in the iPhone developer's home state of California.

The sources were unclear as to the exact contents of the calls, but it seems reasonable to suspect that "peace talks" of some description could be under way. Apple's wrangles with Samsung will continue as Samsung is thought to be gearing up to appeal the verdict as it faces the prospect of eight of its mobile devices being banned on US soil.

Meanwhile, Apple and HTC are still due to settle their patent differences in the near future. With all roads leading back to Google, who developed the Android platform that's causing Apple so many problems, there's certainly a big conversation to be had.

Patents and IP aside, there is also the fact that Apple has been slowly removing its reliance on, and co-operation with, Google's technologies as its products evolve.

Announcing it was dropping mapping and geolocation application Google Maps in June in favour of its own proprietary Maps software, and announcing earlier this month that it would be dropping built-in YouTube functionality in iOS 6, Apple has made its increasing alienation from Google abundantly clear.

Its ongoing war with Samsung has even been described by commentators as a proxy war with Google.

A further meeting between Cook and Page, say Reuters' sources, had been scheduled for today, but has since been delayed for reasons that have not yet been revealed.

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