Reuters reports that Google CEO Larry Page and Apple CEO Tim Cook have been meeting to discuss their ongoing patent disputes, including a phone conversation last week. We've heard the same information recently, and Reuters reports that Page and Cook are set to speak again in the near future, with Google and Apple "keeping the lines of communication open at a high level." The talks come as Apple decisively won a patent trial against Samsung, with a jury penalizing Samsung $1.05 billion in damages for copying Apple's intellectual property.
News of talks come even as Google has tried to downplay Apple's victory over Samsung: in Google's first official response to the trial, it said that most of the patent claims "don't relate to the core Android operating system." As Reuters points out, Apple has also begun to pull back from its relationship with Google in recent months, with the company's announcement that it would replace Google Maps in iOS 6 with its own solution, and remove YouTube as a default app.
So far Apple's legal campaign against Android has mostly been directed at those who make Android devices, including Samsung and Motorola (an OEM now owned by Google). But Apple's patent disputes with manufacturers are really thought to be aimed directly at Android's owner, Google — and the tension began before Tim Cook and Larry Page took over from their predecessors. Steve Jobs was reportedly willing to "spend every penny" of Apple's war chest to "destroy" Android, and a 2010 meeting with then-Google CEO Eric Schmidt was said to solve nothing between the companies. And while Google's new CEO Larry Page said in April that the company's differences with Apple over Android "were actually for show," the timing of the talks between the companies — amid Apple's continued legal assault — suggests otherwise.