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Tim Cook would rather settle litigation, but will defend Apple IP

In Apple's Q2 2012 earnings conference call on Tuesday, CEO Tim Cook responded to a question regarding ongoing worldwide patent litigation by saying that he would like to settle but will continue to defend the company's inventions.

Cook admitted that he would "highly prefer" to find some sort of amicable agreement for the numerous patent lawsuit battles being waged with Samsung, Motorola and others, though the Apple chief notes that companies need to "invent their own stuff."

"I've always hated litigation, and I continue to hate it," Cook said. He went on to say of a guarantee against future patent infringement, "if we could get to some kind of arrangement where we could be assured that that's the case, I highly prefer to settle versus battle."

This is not to say the CEO is backing down from the fight, as he reiterated more than once that other companies need to be responsible for creating their own intellectual property.

The stance is somewhat of a departure from the tack taken by late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who was famously quoted as saying that he was willing to go "thermonuclear war" against Android, a product he felt was a direct copy of iOS.

A sign of Cook's strategy could be the recent meeting between Apple and Samsung in which both parties reportedly discussed possibilities of reaching some sort of settlement. No agreements have been officially announced and the patent litigations continue.

"The key thing is that Apple not become the developer for the world, we need people to invent their own stuff," Cook said.