Google and Samsung have signed a broad cross-licensing deal on technology patents, strengthening an already existing partnership and paving the way for fending off competition from rivals like Apple. The deal may also help both of them in fighting the numerous lawsuits against mobile device manufacturers who use Google’s Android OS. The agreement that stands to benefit both the tech giants covers their existing patents and the ones that would be filed over the next decade.
The terms of agreement give Google and Samsung access to each other’s diverse patent portfolios which make way for a deeper collaboration on research and development of both current and future technologies and products. A point to note is that the terms do not transfer ownership of patents. This means that Samsung cannot use Google’s patents to defend itself while fighting litigation with other companies, notably Apple.
The agreement will prove to be specifically beneficial for Samsung as it will ensure the company’s access to Google’s smart glasses patents and will help Samsung in taking its Galaxy Glass product even further.
The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed by both Google and Samsung. They also remained tight-lipped on whether the scope of the deal was only limited to Google’s Android OS.
Commenting on the deal, Dr. Seungho Ahn, Head of Samsung’s Intellectual Property Center said that the agreement with Google is highly significant for the technology industry and both the companies are showing the rest that there is a lot to gain from cooperating rather than engaging in patent disputes that maybe unnecessary.
Florian Muller, who specializes in software patents and is an intellectual-property consultant in Germany, says that while Samsung and Google own a lot of patents, they have not been able to gain much leverage from those patents against Apple, Microsoft and others. Will we see a similar deal with Apple in the future? Only time can tell.