Along with making announcements regarding its quarterly performance, Apple also uses its financial earnings calls to offer analysts a chance to ask questions. After all, these are the folks that have to essentially guess how Apple will fair over the next few months.

On today’s call, there was one particular question that was both interesting and relevant: “In terms of flexibility in cash and providing more color, how should we think about opportunities regarding patent disputes? Any thoughts about settling vs ongoing litigation?

And here’s how Tim Cook responded…

“I’ve always hated litigation. We just want people to invent their own stuff. If we could get an arrangement where we can be assured that’s the case, and that a fair settlement on stuff that’s occurred, I would highly prefer to settle vs. battle.

The key think is that it’s very important that Apple not become the developer for the world. We need people to invent their own stuff.”

We’re already seeing proof of Cook’s willingness to settle. Apple is hoping to end its long patent war with Samsung in an upcoming mediation. And the talks should go well, considering that Samsung is now more interested in making large phones with styli rather than copying Apple’s latest hit.