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Google and Samsung sign cross-licensing agreement

Will allow use of all current and pending patents for next 10 years

Intellectual property is often a point of contention for tech companies, but in the case of Google and Samsung, it’s an opportunity to capitalize on an already strong partnership. On Jan 26 the tech giants inked a 10-year cross-licensing agreement deal that they hope will strengthen their presence in the technology space and protect them from patent litigation.

The official statement did not reveal any of the pertinent financials involved in the deal, but indicated the agreement will cover the companies’ existing patents as well as any they may file within the next 10 years. That being said, the companies will not be able to claim ownership of the patents being cross-licensed, and as such they will be unable to use them for litigation defense. This is important to note, especially as the patent war between Apple and Samsung continues to rage.

Together, Samsung and Google have led Android devices to become the dominant smartphone in the global market. The deal does not limit the scope of the patents to smartphones, potentially indicating a move towards deeper collaboration between the two.

“By working together on agreements like this, companies can reduce the potential for litigation and focus instead on innovation,” Allen Lo, deputy general counsel for patents at Google, said in a news release.

Samsung also reached an agreement with Ericsson this weekend, on the same day the two announced that they had reached an agreement to settle their previous patent qualms. While the details in that deal were also confidential, Ericsson noted that it meant a bump in sales by over $650 million in the fourth quarter as a result.

The deal puts to bed a suit filed by Ericsson in 2012 that accused Samsung of failing to renew previous cross-licensing agreements.


For more on patent struggles in the tech space, check out these stories:

Patent trolls invade the cloud

Google faces Intellectual Ventures in patent trial

Nokia could take on Google for mapping patents

InterDigital loses more than patent case against Nokia, Huawei, ZTE

Executive Editor

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Chris DiMarco

Chris DiMarco, Executive Editor of InsideCounsel magazine, has a background in multimedia production with previous involvement in projects in which he developed and created content...

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