Google and Samsung have signed a global patent cross-license agreement to license their patent portfolios to each other, in a move that the two companies hope will drive innovation in an industry that has seen far too many patent disputes (though Google and Samsung have never gone to court against each other.) The deal is good for all existing patents of the two companies, and will also cover any patents filed over the course of the next ten 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.” Samsung gave a similar statement, saying “Samsung and Google are showing the rest of the industry that there is more to gain from cooperating than engaging in unnecessary patent disputes.”
The cross-licensing deal has considerable implications, and advantages, for both companies: Samsung will have access to Google’s huge portfolio of software patents, while the search giant will gain access to the plethora of hardware-related patents that the Korean manufacturer has gathered over the past few years. Analysts believe this will pave the way for Samsung to participate in Google’s key projects as a hardware partner, and we could see more Google Play editions of Samsung smartphones down the line.