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Google and Samsung reach 10 year cross-patent agreement

Landmark deal should strengthen Android's position

by Mark Hodgkinson Jan 27, 2014 at 9:51 AM


  • Samsung and Google have announced a wide ranging, global cross-licensing agreement covering the next 10 years.
    Details on exactly what that will mean in practical terms have yet to be forthcoming but it’s an interesting contrast to Samsung’s position with Apple and should allow the Korean’s to take a bigger role in the development of the Android operating system.

    Let’s not forget that Samsung devices make up the bulk of Android smartphone sales.

    Whilst Apple didn’t directly get a name-check in the company’s respective press announcements both took the opportunity of a thinly veiled stab at Cupertino.
    "Samsung and Google are showing the rest of the industry that there is more to gain from cooperating than engaging in unnecessary patent disputes," said Seungho Ahn, the head of Samsung's Intellectual Property Center.
    “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.”


    Samsung had been rumoured to be moving towards promoting the Tizen Operating System more fully, in the coming year, and although the agreement could potentially allow them to use more of the Android DNA in it, it’s more likely that Android’s position will be strengthened by the move.
    "paving the way for deeper collaboration on research and development of current and future products and technologies."
    Here’s the release in full:

    “Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. and Google Inc. today furthered their long-term cooperative partnership with a global patent cross-license agreement covering a broad range of technologies and business areas. The mutually beneficial agreement covers the two companies’ existing patents as well as those filed 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.”
    With this agreement, Samsung and Google gain access to each other’s industry-leading patent portfolios, paving the way for deeper collaboration on research and development of current and future products and technologies.

    “This agreement with Google is highly significant for the technology industry,” said Dr. Seungho Ahn, the 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.”

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