The years-long legal fight between Apple and Samsung is continuing to rage in courts around the world. Other high-profile patent lawsuits have come and gone in recent years, creating an uneasy climate in which tech companies are now engaging in an expensive patent-gathering cold war.
This situation has led to surprising developments in recent years, including massive patent cross-licensing agreements between industry competitors. Now, two of the biggest tech companies in the world have combined forces to establish a solid position in the patent wars.
Today Samsung and Google announced that they have entered into a patent agreement. The arrangement is being described as a "long-term cooperative partnership" in which the two companies will share their patent portfolios. According to Google and Samsung, the deal will allow both companies to collaborate more closely in the future.
“This agreement with Google is highly significant for the technology industry,” said Seungho Ahn, head of the Intellectual Property Center at Samsung. “Samsung and Google are showing the rest of the industry that there is more to gain from cooperating than engaging in unnecessary patent disputes.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Google and Samsung will cross-license each company's patents for both technology and business applications. In addition to the cross-licensing of existing patents, the new deal also covers patents that Google and Samsung will file over the next 10 years.
“We’re pleased to enter into a cross-license with our partner Samsung,” said Allen Lo, deputy general counsel for patents at Google. “By working together on agreements like this, companies can reduce the potential for litigation and focus instead on innovation.”
Image via Samsung