Google, Apple CEOs Try To Mediate Patent Disputes: Report

on August 30 2012 3:51 PM
Larry Page, co-founder and CEO of Google
Larry Page, CEO of Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Reuters

Patent resolution talks have been conducted by Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) CEO Tim Cook and Google (Nasdaq: CEO) Larry Page and may continue, Reuters reported.

Once allies, with former Google CEO Eric Schmidt serving as a director of Apple, of Cupertino, Calif., from 2006 through 2009, the two companies are now rivals, especially as Google, of Mountain View, Calif., has made strides in the mobile sector by developing its Android OS and acquisition of Motorola Mobility, the smartphone maker.

The talks began before a jury in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., found that Samsung Electronics (Seoul: 005930) had infringed upon certain Apple patents and awarded the company damages of $1.05 billion last Friday.

Google earlier stood trial in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on patent-infringement claims brought by Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL), the No. 1 database developer, over its use of Java in Android development. Judge William Alsup threw out just about all the claims against Google on June 20.

Reuters, which cited two sources, suggested the two CEOs may declare a "truce" about basic features and functions in Android.

Often technology companies end their disputes by cross-licensing, agreeing on royalty payments or other deals rather than spend on lawsuits that can take years and sap the attention of executives and developers who should be devising new products.

Apple has been reducing its dependence on Google for maps and information this year, forging an alliance with Yelp (Nasdaq: Yelp) as well as announcing that YouTube won't be pre-loaded into new versions of the iPhone.

Schmidt stepped down as Google CEO last year to be succeeded by co-founder Larry Page, but remains the company's executive chairman.

The companies declined comment.

Shares of Google fell $4.09 to $683.92 in late trading, while those of Apple fell $7.58 to $665.89. Both set new record highs this week.