Search giant Google and major electronics manufacturer Samsung and have filed a long-term deal for cross-licensing their existing patents and patents for the future covering the next 10 years. No details of the deal have been released from either party, but both companies did agree that the deal was “mutually beneficial,” and it “covers a broad range of technologies and business areas.”
This new cross-licensing deal between the two giant companies blends the number two patent holder in 2013 Samsung, and combines the 11th place patent holder, Google.
Both Google and Samsung made sure to take advantage of the moment and take a stab at their mutual rival Apple Inc. by stressing how great it is that two big companies can work together without suing each other.
Google’s deputy general councel for patents, Allen Lo said:
“By working together on agreements like this, companies can reduce the potential for litigation and focus instead on innovation.”
The same message was sent by the head of Samsung’s Intellectual Property Center, Seungho Ahn. Ahn said:
“Samsung and Google are showing the rest of the industry that there is more to gain from cooperating than engaging in unnecessary patent disputes.”
Ahn was also quoted as saying that the deal was “highly significant.”
The Samsung Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets compete directly with Apple’s products, the iPhone and iPad tablet.
Samsung and Apple have been known for their many legal battles over the last several years. Apple has also sued another Android smartphone maker as well. Apple sued Samsung for violating their patent rights to such technologies as making the screen bounce back when the bottom is reached. Apple is also pursuing Samsung in the U.S. court system on March 31 over patent infringements involving the Apple iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S3.
Apple and Samsung have been ordered to meet and talk about resolving their differences, but and settlement seems unlikely. Prior to jury selection for another Apple vs Samsung patent infringement case last November, U.S. District Court Judge, Lucy Koh, said that she would like CEO’s from both companies to participate in settlement talks. Judge Koh then asked the Samsung and Apple legal teams not to laugh at her as even her chambers laugh at her when she mentions the word, “settlement.”
Last year in one single case alone in the U.S. court system, Samsung was ordered to pay Apple $930 million for patent infringements.
Google and Samsung’s filed the long-term patent deal recently but they have been close partners now for many years. Samsung owes much of their success to using Google’s Android open-source OS and Google owes much of their success to Samsung for using their Android OS.
With Google and Samsung accessing each other’s patents files, the two companies will be able to engage on a deeper level of long-term collaboration. The two companies will be able to conduct more research and development of their technologies and products that exist now and improve on their future patents as well.
By Brent Matsalla