Apple and Google CEOs Talking Over Patent Issues

Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Larry Page are reportedly meeting to discuss patent issues between the two companies.

According to Reuters Cook and Page had a phone conversation about the issues last week, and had another meeting scheduled for Friday. The two CEOs delayed the second meeting, however, for unknown reasons. The two should meet again sometime in the near future despite the delay.

While Cook and Page are talking, low-level executives in the two companies are also discussing the issues.

It sounds like Apple and Google might be willing to settle mobile patent issues without going through other companies. A jury recently awarded Apple more than $1 billion in a lawsuit against Samsung. Another judge recently threw out a case between Google-owned Motorola and Apple, and Apple has other ongoing disputes with Samsung and HTC.

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We don’t know if the talks between Tim Cook and Larry Page will bring the lawsuits to an end, but there is a possibility. If Apple and Google can reach a cross-licensing agreement like the one Apple and Microsoft penned years ago, Apple won’t have to go after Android manufacturers over Android features any more.

Steve Jobs is famously quoted as saying he will go “thermonuclear” on Android which he considered a “stolen product.” Tim Cook, however, hinted at the D10 conference that he doesn’t want his company bogged down in a lot of patent disputes.

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We doubt the talks will result in Google Maps and YouTube coming back as pre-installed apps in iOS 6, however. Those deals are separate from the patent disputes, and can arguably help end users by letting Google update its apps more than just once a year.

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