Apple has been involved in a lot of legal disputes in recent years, with their legal feuds between Samsung and Motorola among the most notable. But neither Apple nor Tim Cook enjoys these legal battles. In fact, as Tim Cook stated during yesterdays Q2 2012 earnings call, he’s “always hated litigation, and I continue to hate it.”
The comments came in response to an analyst, who asked whether Apple would prefer to put all of the patent litigation behind them, and instead lo0k forward and focus on continuing to produce innovative products. Cook went on to say that he would prefer settling with their competitors.
He also noted, however, that such an agreement would need to help avoid patent litigation in the future as well:
If we could get to some kind of arrangement where we could be assured that that’s the case [that people would invent their own stuff], and get a fair settlement on the stuff that’s occurred, I highly prefer to settle versus battle. The key thing is that Apple not become the developer for the world. We need people to invent their own stuff.
This is not to say that Tim Cook is backing down from a fight by any means, however – he’d rather move forward and put Apple’s resources into innovation, but he’s also not going to sit back and watch as other companies use what he considers to be Apple’s ideas. Perhaps the most notable recent case is that of Samsung, who Apple accused of slavishly ripping off their ideas.
At the very least, Tim Cook’s stance is a fair bit milder than that of Steve Jobs, who openly declared that he would wage thermonuclear war on Google and their Android playform because he felt it was “stolen property” and ripped off Apple’s ideas…
Only time will tell how Tim Cook’s milder attitude will play into the company’s existing legal battles.