Google and Samsung sign a 10 year cross-license patent agreement

by: Andrew GrushJanuary 26, 2014

Samsung Brand Shots CES 2014-5

Today Samsung and Google officially announced a new cross-license patent agreement that covers a “broad range” of current and future patents over the next 10 years. Speaking of the deal, Google expressed that they were pleased by the arrangement and further indicated that “by working together on agreements like this, companies can reduce the potential for litigation and focus instead on innovation.”

An official quote from a Samsung rep was also released via Samsung’s official blog“This agreement with Google is highly significant for the technology industry,” said Dr. Seungho Ahn, the Head of Samsung’s Intellectual Property Center. “Samsung and Google are showing the rest of the industry that there is more to gain from cooperating than engaging in unnecessary patent disputes.”

There is more to gain from cooperating than engaging in unnecessary patent disputes.

Both statements seem to be semi-subtle jabs at companies like Apple and Nokia, who are both known to be quite aggressive when it comes to mobile patent lawsuits.

Considering Samsung is the most popular manufacturer in the Android world, the partnership between the two companies certainly makes sense, even if both Google and Samsung have their own agendas that seem to clash at times.

Now it’s important to note that not all patents are covered by the deal. Not surprisingly, the official press release was pretty vague about what was covered and what isn’t. While it’s just speculation on our part, we wouldn’t be too surprised if certain Motorola patents are excluded from the deal. We imagine at least some of Samsung’s patents are equally protected. 

Either way, this is big news and (hopefully) a sign of good things to come in the world of Android, and for the mobile industry in general. It would be interesting to see if any of Google’s other major Android partners end up signing similar agreements with Mountain View. What do you think of the Samsung-Google cross-licensing agreement? Surprised, excited, indifferent? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

  • wimmert

    I have a Samsung Galaxy S4 with an Otterbox Defender Case that I love. How do guys carry it with them? I have lost it twice and broke 2 of the belt clip devices. What is the best method to carry this on your person?

    • Joey Alessi

      They have neat little belt clips for Otterbox cases. I used to have an Evo 3D with one, and it was nice because I could just clip it onto my belt. I currently have the Galaxy Mega 6.3 and decided against an Otterbox case because they are a little bulky for the work I do, but they do a great job and I wouldn’t mind getting one for my Nexus 7 2nd Gen. For both of my devices, I have gel cases. Not as durable but still protective enough for how little I drop my devices. All in all, I would recommend getting a belt clip to keep you from losing it, and they’re fairly cheap to my knowledge. :-)

  • jnffarrell1

    Cross licensing is a big deal for both Google and Samsung. When a troll thinks it has found a chink in either companies IP armor the others shield comes into play. Defense now become both a 4/3 and a 3/4 so that the time to game plan a legal attack goes way up, say by a year, and the probability of stalemate goes way up, while the probability of collecting contingency fees or hedge fund profits for financing a useless paper chase drops below reasonable investment thresholds.

    Looking more and more like the $4.5B troll set up by Microsoft and Apple’s patent buying spree is dead money.

    • Jayfeather787

      Wow. That was a brilliant comment. I barely understand it because I am in middle school, but it sounded very intelligent.

      • RanRu

        Basically, if someone tries to sue Samsung, they’re also going to be suing Google, and vice versa. So both companies will be fighting alongside each other in lawsuits, making it very difficult to win a case against them.

        • Jayfeather787

          Oh, ok thanks for clearing that up.

      • AndroidBoss

        Was that supposed to be sarcasm?

        • Jayfeather787

          Nooo. Why? I’m seriously in middle school and I have no idea what he wrote.

          • AndroidBoss

            Ohh OK.

  • Jayfeather787

    Why would Samsung and Google fight ever? It seems to make sense that they would be partners. I hope now Tizen will die.

    • cycad007

      You obviously don’t know Samsung very well.

    • Rovex

      This isnt about Samsung and Google getting along, its about strengthening both from outside attack. Google can use Samsung patents to defend Android generally and Samsung can use Google patents to defend itself from the Apple troll.

      • Jayfeather787

        Ok, good.

  • John Doe

    They should partner with as many top end manufacturers as possible. It’s one of the only ways to keep the trolls at bay .. Lets hope that the new government patent laws kill all of these troll companies. I hate companies that purchase patents just to destroy other companies that are actually doing something to innovate a technology, but do not do anything with the patent them selves. That’s like sitting at the table for 4, but not letting any other customers use the tables unused seats by saying they are used, when they clearly aren’t! (I know, stupid analogy … lol)

    • AbbyZFresh

      If Google can get a cross licensing agreement with the entire OHA, we can finally have a more united Android which means potential possibilities for less fragmentation.

  • iFaitPlay

    HTC made the same , long ago…….but with Apple.
    That’s why HTC is dead meat, now.

  • El Platanero

    I only see this as Google protecting a company that made their of even more popular. Google can care less if Samsung disappeared and HTC became popular, or LG, or Sony, or preferably Motorola. I think in Samsung end of things they are better off staying in bed with Google. I came from blackberry and the whole “make your own platform to compete” is looking pretty bad. Heck even with the loss of Jobs I don’t think apple will stay on top much longer.