Google signs yet another cross-licensing patent agreement, this time with Cisco

February 4, 2014
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It looks like Google is buckling down and preparing a new strategy to further strengthen its position when it comes to patent litigation. The first evidence of this change in strategy came about a week ago when we first learned of the Google and Samsung patent agreement, and now it looks like a similar patent arrangement has been reached with Cisco Systems.

Although the Samsung and Google patent has a specific range of ten years, the latest Cisco agreement is simply listed as a “long-term” arrangement. According to an official press release, the cross-licensing agreement covers a broad range of products and technologies. Both the Google and Cisco official statements make it pretty clear that the deal is primarily designed to reduce the risk of future litigation.

Our agreement with Cisco will reduce the potential for litigation, letting us focus instead on building great new products. We're pleased to enter into this cross-license, and we welcome discussions with any company interested in a similar arrangement.
Allen Lo
Google's Deputy General Counsel for Patents

We believe that this is just the beginning, and this is supported by Google’s statement that they “welcome discussions with any company interested in a similar arrangement.” It seems that Google is preparing a “patent wall” that should help keep patent trolls and even bigger sue-happy industry giants (looking at you Apple…) at bay. This patent wall isn’t just about protecting Google’s future, but is about helping its partners as well.

In today's overly-litigious environment, cross-licensing is an effective way for technology companies to work together and help prevent unnecessary patent lawsuits. This agreement is an important step in promoting innovation and assuring freedom of operation.
Dan Lang
Cisco's Vice President of Intellectual Property

What do you think, is this just the beginning of more cross-licensing patent agreements for Google? Could this strategy eventually help bring an end to (or at least dramatically reduce) the ‘patent wars’? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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