Samsung and Google sign 10-year patent-sharing pledge

Patent infringement

Samsung and Google have extended their long-standing tech collaboration by signing a new 10-year patent licensing deal.

The agreement gives the tech giants access to each other's patent portfolios, as well as any new patents either party files over the course of the 10-year deal.

However, the patents will remain the property of whichever firm first filed them. This means neither party will be able to use the other's patents to defend themselves in legal disputes.

The two firms are already closely aligned, thanks to Samsung's reliance on Google's Android operating system, which runs on its hugely popular range of smartphones and tablets.

The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Allen Lo, deputy general counsel for patents at Google, welcomed the agreement.

"By working together on agreements like this, companies can reduce the potential for litigation and focus instead on innovation," said Lo.

Meanwhile, Dr. Seungho Ahn, head of Samsung's intellectual property centre, added: "Samsung and Google are showing the rest of the industry that there is more to gain from co-operating than engaging in unnecessary patent disputes."

The latter may have been a pointed dig at Apple, who has pursued patent cases against Samsung since 2011 over claims it copied the look and feel of its iPhones and iPads in its own smartphones and tablets.

News of the deal follows on from comments made by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak back in November about the prospect of Apple, Samsung and Google sharing their tech knowhow to create new products and reduce the risk of litigation.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.