31/08/2012 08:33 BST | Updated 30/10/2012 09:12 GMT

Google And Apple Reportedly In 'Peace Talks' Over Patent Disputes

Tech giants are used to suing each other - but now they might be suing for peace.

Google and Apple are reportedly in talks to end a series of ongoing patent and intellectual property disputes.

According to Reuters, Google CEO Larry Page and Apple chief Tim Cook have conducted "behind-the-scenes conversations" to discuss a range of matters relating to a possible truce.

Reuters said that the two executives had a phone conversation last week, and that talks between its employees are "ongoing".

Its sources said that further talks had been scheduled but were recently delayed.

The reports come amid a backdrop of intensifying legal battles between Apple and Samsung, relating to the look and feel of the South Korean company's phones and tablets -- which use Google's Android operating system.

Those battles have been described as a "war by proxy" in which Apple's real target was Google, after Steve Jobs' infamous assertion before his death that he would "destroy" Android.

Jobs told his biographer Walter Isaacson: "I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this."

Apple recently won a decisive victory in a Californian court, who said Samsung had "wilfully copied" the iPhone in some of its Galaxy handsets.

The judgement ordered Samsung to pay $1bn in damages, and could still result in products being taken off the market in the US.

However Samsung has also won victories. Most recently a Japanese court said it has not infringed on Apple's patents. In July a British court said Samsung had not copied the iPad, partly because they were obviously "not as cool".

Any possible move for a wider peace deal over Apple's IP could see some of those court battles drawn to a close.

However it is not known what issues are under discussion, and whether a broad peace deal or more specific settlements could be on the cards.