Could Apple and Google Be Headed for Detente Instead of Thermonuclear War?
With the Apple-Samsung trial having raised the stakes in the mobile patent wars, it appears that the two major combatants are at least willing to talk about how the hostilities might end.
As first reported by Reuters earlier today, the chief executives of both companies recently met to at least broach the subject. Sources familiar with the situation confirm that the two sides have had some early, high-level discussions.
Those same sources tell AllThingsD that a further meeting is planned. A Google representative declined to comment, and an Apple representative was not immediately available for comment.
It isn’t clear how far the talks have progressed, but it is certainly noteworthy that the meeting took place at all.
The timing makes sense. It’s not unheard of for litigants to need a trial just to get some external sense of where things stand before coming to the table. And Google certainly got a $1 billion wake-up call from the San Jose, Calif., jury that heard the Apple-Samsung case.
That said, just because Apple and Google talk does not mean they will agree on anything. There’s a ton of bad blood here.
And there are lots of issues to sort out. Google is wearing several hats here. First, it owns an Android handset maker — Motorola — which is currently suing Apple in the ITC. Secondly, as the creator of Android, it would ideally like to achieve some measure of protection for other devices that use its operating system.
Google also has a huge services business that comes from being the search provider for Apple devices and, until recently, also the maps provider.