Two companies seen considerably as allies in the Android front have signed a global patent agreement that will last for 10 years. Samsung and Google have boosted their partnership by agreeing to license their corresponding license portfolios with each other which cover existing intellectual property and patents that are to be filed in the next 10 years.
Allen Lo, Deputy General Counsel for Patents at Google, said that “We’re pleased to enter into a cross-license with our partner Samsung. By working together on agreements like this, companies can reduce the potential for litigation and focus instead on innovation.”
Lo’s comment seems to take aim at Microsoft, Apple, and others that employ a technique called “privateereing” in which shell companies are armed with old patents. These companies are generally immune from counter-suits since they have no assets. These companies then demand money from successful companies that are using their patents. A Google spokesperson said that privateereing allows companies to split its patent portfolio into smaller sub-portfolios that are stacked up. This increases licensing costs and will drive prices higher for the consumer.
Seungho Ahn, Head of Samsung’s Intellectual Property Center, also said that “This agreement with Google is highly significant for the technology industry. Samsung and Google are showing the rest of the industry that there is more to gain from cooperating than engaging in unnecessary patent disputes.”
This latest development will strengthen the relationship of both companies and will considerably lessen the chances of patent infringement issues. It will also give them the edge against patent infringement allegations and litigations from other companies such as Apple.
On Google’s part it is a sign that the company is pursuing its hardware ambitions as it can use the technology of Samsung and incorporate it in its own designs. The company previously acquired Motorola including its patents.
This is also a clear sign that Samsung will still stick with Android. The company has been developing its Tizen platform and plans to release several smartphones this year running on this new system. A lot of people speculated that since Samsung was developing its own system it would soon break away from Google’s Android. This latest agreement proves that Samsung is still going to stick with Android.