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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 by Motorola 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.
Source: Mashable

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