As technology grows, so do patent wars. Patents are incredibly important, of course, but they can become an obstacle to innovation when abused or overused. Google understands this, and in an effort to further Android’s open nature, is introducing PAX, a patent licensing initiative focusing on patent peace.
The patent system, as demonstrated by its origin, can lead to dangerous monopolies. While they are designed to help innovators protect their ideas, sometimes, the overuse and misuse of patents halt important progress. Google is looking to alleviate this problem with PAX, a patent licensing platform which focuses on cooperation and sharing instead of legal battles.
Currently, PAX is comprised of Google, Samsung, LG, Foxconn, HMD, HTC, Coolpad, BQ, and Allview, boasting over 230,000 patents total.
Pax, as you may know, comes from Latin, meaning peace. Fittingly, PAX is designed to bring together those who are involved in the Android ecosystem so that its members can spend their resources on new ideas, not patent lawsuits. Currently, PAX is comprised of Google, Samsung, LG, Foxconn, HMD, HTC, Coolpad, BQ, and Allview, boasting over 230,000 patents total. However, as it becomes more mainstream, Google is optimistic that it’ll attract even more members.
Free and open to anyone, PAX is the search giant’s latest effort to bring healthy competition and true innovation. Previous efforts include LOT Network and the Open Patent Non-assertion Pledge. Under the PAX program, Google states that “members grant each other royalty-free patent licenses covering Android and Google Applications on qualified devices.”
Android has always been associated with openness, and as a result, not only has it seen a tremendous amount of innovative variations, but it also boasts an astounding 1.6 billion active users, making it the most popular smartphone OS in the world. Google’s latest attempt at expanding its openness and bringing patent peace will undoubtedly grant manufacturers even more freedom to innovate.
To find out more about Google’s latest initiative, you can head on over to the official PAX website!
What are your thoughts on patents and legal disputes amongst tech companies? Do you think Google’s new licensing initiative will help? Let us know by leaving a comment below!