Google, Samsung sign 10-year technology cross-licensing deal

Google and Samsung have signed a global patent cross-licensing agreement to reduce "the potential for litigation"

Google and Samsung have signed a global 10-year patent cross-licensing agreement to enable the companies to focus on innovation by reducing "the potential for litigation".

According to the announcement, the deal will cover "a broad range of technologies and business areas" and apply to existing patents and any filed in the next decade.

The deal will give Samsung and Google access to each other’s patent portfolios, enabling deeper collaboration on research and development, the companies said.

Samsung already works closely with Google as it uses Google’s Android mobile operating system for its Galaxy range of smartphones.

The agreement is “highly significant” for the technology industry, said Seungho Ahn, head of Samsung’s Intellectual Property Center.

“Samsung and Google are showing the rest of the industry that there is more to gain from cooperating than engaging in unnecessary patent disputes,” he said.

Both companies are involved in long-running patent disputes with Apple.

Samsung has been engaged in several bitter patent battles around the globe with Apple for several years as both firms have met each infringement claim with a counter claim.

In a bid to end the ongoing dispute, the chief executives of Apple and Samsung expected to meet in February to iron out their differences.

Samsung’s deal with Google comes after European competition authorities took the firm to task, saying the company’s legal action against rivals was stifling competition.

Google has sought to overcome its dispute with Apple through its Motorola Mobility unit by increasing the number of patents it holds and signing deals similar to the newly-announced deal with Samsung, reports the BBC.

In similar anti-litigation moves, Samsung and Nokia extended a patent licensing agreement for another five years in 2013, while Apple and HTC announced a 10-year licensing deal in 2012.

Industry pundits believe that cross-licensing is the only logical solution to patent infringement lawsuits that have dogged the mobile computing industry in recent years.

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