Google and Samsung Sign 10-Year Patent Agreement
Published on: 26th Jan 2014
By: Ian Mansfield
Often the biggest of deals is heralded by the smallest of announcements. We are left scratching our heads as a lackluster statement is released by a couple of companies announcing in a rather matter of fact way that yes ok we've done something.
A writer sits there and struggles to look at the statement and there is this nagging doubt that somehow the story is bigger than those few short sentences, and that the announcement really is quite momentous, if only you would work out why.
Not quite as big as say an Apple/Samsung announcement, but still momentous.
It's patents, there is a patent war, and its two big firms. A short statement whose impact is easy to understand. Even if the details of what has been agreed are vanishingly scarce.
Samsung and Google already work closely together and Samsung is the leading Android OS smartphone manufacturer, but the two sides were still technically breaching each others patents all over the place.
The announcement, however short does note that the new agreement lasts ten years and covers cross-licensing of patents by both companies.
It is realistically almost impossible to make a smartphone without infringing a patent, hence the patent wars, and the need for companies to sign cross agreements so that both sides are locked together in a patent death grip that neither side dare let go.
The statement added that the agreement can reduce the potential for litigation and let the two companies focus instead on innovation, which is a pointed nod at Apple and patent trolls.
Samsung and Apple are due to hold talks with a mediator next month to try and settle their patent disputes. Look out for another short statement soon.