It seems that Apple has been attacking Google indirectly by suing companies which are using the Android OS. The most recent case was the Apple v Samsung in which the verdict last week sided with Apple. It looks as if the Android OS is the intended target for Apple, but they have not gone after Google yet. And that may be the reason for reports (or rumors) of the 2 companies actually talking right now.
Much of the information is speculation and rumors with a little facts thrown it. But with all the lawsuits going on, these two need to figure out a way to resolve their differences and come to some sort of an agreement. The reports have Tim Cook and Larry Page talking about the patent disputes which relate to Apple and Google. This is based on an unnamed source about a phone conversation that the two had. While Apple has not directly sued Google, Google has gone after Apple based on patents they now own from the Motorola Mobility purchase. Apple is appealing a recent loss to Motorola Mobility in Washington.
All of this seems a little strange since Steve Jobs issued his willingness to have a thermonuclear war against Google. It seems that things are a little different at Apple now. The continuing lawsuits have to be costing the company a lot of money. And with Google now owning Motorola Mobility, they have a lot more leverage to protect themselves against Apple. And their recent suit against Apple is posing issues for Apple to defend. Though you never know where those things will end up. Just ask Samsung.
On the Motorola Mobility suit, it seems that Google was forced to file because of Apple’s unwillingness to discuss licensing agreements. And that is more than likely an accurate statement. In the Apple v Samsung case, it came out that Samsung was trying to negotiate a licensing agreement and it never got very far. Seems that Apple may not be willing to sign licensing agreements. But that may now be changing and would help the entire industry if things could get resolved between Apple and Google.
While a possible settlement or agreement may be a long ways off, it does seem like a long shot. The current attitudes at Apple seem to indicate they are happy with the pot of money that they currently have and do not care about licensing agreements right now. That has been the trend there for a number of years. The only thing that will change that is a string of losses by Apple in various court cases here in the US and around the world. That might soften their attitudes and willingness to settle cases and obtain license agreements.
Given the growing smart phone markets, there is a lot of money involved. And there is a lot at stake with all the patents that each company has. In some respects this seems to look a little like a game of chicken to see who will be the first one to blink. Thus far, Apple has blinked the least. But, a threat by Samsung to sue Apple when the next iPhone comes out over LTE patents may start to change that. Thus far Apple’s team of lawyers have been fairly successful. But if Samsung prevails in an LTE suit against Apple and possibly gets the iPhone 5 banned from sale, that could be huge. And it will force Apple to start taking licensing deals.
It seems that only mounting losses from lawsuits may be the only way to get these large companies to sit down and talk. What do you think?