Apple and Google chiefs hold secret talks about patents
THE chief executives of Apple and Google have held secret talks about mobile phone designs, raising expectations that the two companies could call a truce in their escalating war over intellectual property rights.
Tim Cook, boss of Apple, and Larry Page, chief executive of Google, are said to have had “at least one conversation” about the patent battles that are costing both companies hundreds of millions of pounds.
The sources said that Mr Cook and Mr Page had discussed a range of intellectual property matters and could be considering a truce over basic features and functions on Google’s Android software, according to Reuters tonight.
The news wire reported that talks are also taking place between the companies at a lower level of management.
The technology companies are fighting each other for control over the operating systems on which mobile phones are run. Their intense competition has spawned a tit-for-tat war of lawsuits on both sides of the Atlantic, with Apple and other mobile phone manufacturers accusing each other of stealing their designs.
The battles have helped to fuel a large rise in the value of patents, the intellectual property rights that are at the heart of the cases.
Earlier this year, Google paid $12.5bn (£7.9bn) for the beleaguered mobile phone manufacturer Motorola
Mobility, largely so that it could secure an artillery of 17,000 patents and 7,500 pending patents to help it fight these battles, either on its own behalf or on the behalf of the companies which use its Android system.
The stakes of the ongoing litigation reached new heights last week, when a California court found Samsung infringed six of Apple’s patents and ordered it to pay the US technology giant $1.05bn in damages.
Apple and Google declined to comment on the talks.
Katherine Rushton Telegraph.co.uk