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Google and Apple execs are reportedly talking. Is a truce at hand?

Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google chief Larry Page conducted at least one 'behind-the-scenes conversation' last week, shortly before a California jury issued a verdict in a major copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Apple. 

By Matthew Shaer / August 30, 2012

The carpet in the French offices of Google.



Last week, a California jury ordered Samsung to pay Apple over $1 billion – penance for violating a number of key smartphone and tablet patents. That much we knew. Here's what we didn't know: According to Reuters, shortly before the verdict was announced, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google chief Larry Page conducted at least one "behind-the-scenes conversation," in an effort to keep open "the lines of communication" between the two tech titans. 

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Charles Cooper and Roger Cheng of CNET have since confirmed that the talks took place.

The whole thing is big deal for a couple reasons. For one, Apple and Google are known rivals; high-level talks like this are rare. For another, those Samsung devices named in the Apple lawsuit all ran versions of Google's Android operating system. Although Google has sought to "keep the matter at arm's length," as The Verge put it, it's clear that the verdict will directly affect Google. 

RELATED: 20 great tips and tricks for iPhone or Android.

"[Y]ou don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind's blowing," write Cooper and Cheng. "After its one-sided court victory last week over Samsung in a landmark copy infringement lawsuit, Apple has added incentive to press its legal claims against other computer makers who use Google's Android operating system... Given the lopsided nature of Samsung's legal defeat, Google may believe the prospects of an Apple lawsuit are higher than they were just a week ago."

So what exactly would Cook and Page be talking about? Well, a truce, maybe. From the Reuters report: 

One possible scenario under consideration could be a truce involving disputes over basic features and functions in Google’s Android mobile software, one source said. But it’s unclear whether Page and Cook are discussing a broad settlement of the various disputes between the two companies – most of which involve the burgeoning mobile computing area – or are focused on a more limited set of issues.

More when we know it. In the meantime, to receive regular updates on how technology intersects daily life, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.

RELATED: 20 great tips and tricks for iPhone or Android.


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