Don’t say Google doesn’t protect its Android OEMs. Yesterday, Samsung announced a broad patent cross-license agreement with the search giant, giving the companies access to each other’s current patents and all those filed over the next 10 years.
The patents, which Samsung said covers “a broad range of technologies and business areas,” are intended to defend both companies against the aggressive litigation of competitors. Samsung has been locked in a bitter courtroom conflict with Apple since 2011, while Google’s own Motorola is the subject of patent disputes from Apple, Microsoft, and IP firm Intellectual Ventures.
Allen Lo, Deputy General Counsel for Patents at Google, intimated the deal could be a harbinger of future agreements in the technology sector. “By working together on agreements like this, companies can reduce the potential for litigation and focus instead on innovation,” he said. Given the climate of patent misuse and billion-dollar judgments, that’s probably optimistic. At the very least, though, the agreement should help both Samsung and Google protect their respective products far into the future.