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Samsung and Google take aim at industry with massive patent agreement

Samsung and Google have concluded a deal that will see the two companies cross-license patents over the next ten years. The arrangement is extensive, covering not only existing patents, but also future patents filed by the companies.

Unsurprisingly there were similarities in the statements that Google and Samsung released to announce the deal. What is significant, though, is a point that both companies were keen to emphasise.

“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,” said Allen Lo, Deputy General Counsel for Patents at Google.

Similar sentiments were expressed by Samsung in a blog post.

“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,” said Dr. Seungho Ahn, head of Samsung’s Intellectual Property Centre.

The key theme clearly highlighted by both companies was the potential wider industry benefits of the deal. Samsung and Google – like many other technology businesses – believe that the ongoing patent war is highly damaging, with vast sums being spent on litigation, shifting focus away from innovation.

Although not all of Samsung and Google’s patents will be covered by the deal, it will nonetheless be viewed as a sign of progress by those eager to avoid future courtroom battles.

The big question now is whether other manufacturers will be able to negotiate similar deals with Google. Such an outcome does seem likely, as Samsung’s continued domination of the Android market presents a risk for Google.

Samsung could potentially gain an advantage over rivals like HTC and LG as a result of the agreement. This would not be in Google’s interests, as Samsung may seek to switch customers to its own Tizen operating system at some point in the future.

Image credit: ZapTheDingbat

[via Android Authority]