Cisco and Google sign cross-licensing patent deal to halt trolls

Patent infringement

Cisco and Google are to cross-license patents in an effort to halt potential future legal wrangles.

The partnership deal means each company would license the other's patents without fear of legal action. The agreement covers "a broad range of products and technologies," according to a joint statement and would help in reducing the risk of future litigation.

Both companies failed to disclose financial details around the agreement and did not say which or how many patents are involved.

"Our agreement with Cisco will reduce the potential for litigation, letting us focus instead on building great new products," said Google deputy privacy counsel for patents Allan Lo. "We're pleased to enter into this cross-license, and we welcome discussions with any company interested in a similar arrangement."

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

Both companies also said the deal would put an end to "privateering" or the transfer of patents to patent assertion entities that harm consumers.

The Cisco deal follows oneGoogle made with Samsungthe previous week. Those two companies pledged to share the content of their respective patent portfolios for the next ten years.

Google is keen to see the back of patent litigation. As reported by IT Pro, thesearch giant was in court against patent owner Intellectual Venturesover a dispute that its Motorola Mobility unit (now sold to Lenovo) infringed three patents covering a variety of smartphone technologies.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.