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Google and Samsung Reach Long-Term Patent Cooperation

Issued: February 10 2014

Google and Samsung signed a global patent cross-licensing agreement, covering patents currently owned by the companies and any patents filed in the next 10 years.


Samsung said that the deal is highly significant for the technology industry. Seungho Ahn, head of Samsung’s Intellectual Property Centre, says it “shows the rest of the industry that there is more to gain from cooperating than engaging in unnecessary patent disputes.”


The companies will have access to each other’s patent portfolios, paving the way for deeper collaboration on research and development of current and future products and technologies, said in a statement from Samsung.


“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 has been in dispute over patents with Apple in recent years on its popular Galaxy line. Google, the world’s largest search engine, is also the maker of the popular Android mobile phone operating system, which is installed on Samsung phones and tablets.  


“The more patents you have the more protected you are from litigation,” Andrew Milroy, an analyst at consultancy Frost & Sullivan told the BBC. “I'm not sure if the agreement means Samsung can use Google patents and vice-versa. But if they are collaborating, it protects them from litigation, since the pair of them together is a stronger unit.”


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