Cisco and Samsung ink patent cross-license agreement

Intellectual property agreement

Cisco and Samsung have entered into a cross-license agreement that will see the two firms gain access to each other's patent portfolios.

The agreement, which is effective immediately, covers a broad range of technology and product IP and any patents filed in the next 10 years.

The companies claim that such an arrangement will allow them to be more innovative when creating future products and services by reducing the risk of litigation.

"Innovation is stifled all too often in today's overly-litigious environment," said Dan Lang, Cisco's vice president of intellectual property.

"By cross-licensing our patent portfolios, Cisco and Samsung are taking important steps to reverse the trend and advance innovation and freedom of operation."

Seungho Ahn, head of Samsung Electronics' Intellectual Property Center, added: "We look forward to working with Cisco.

"We expect this agreement to result in mutual growth and, ultimately, for the benefit of both companies' customers across the world."

The news comes just days after Cisco signed a similar agreement with Google, which was also done in the name of promoting innovation and reducing litigation, which followed a separate agreement between Google and Samsung.

A joint statement from Cisco and Google said their agreement would also help put an end to "privateering", the transfer of patents to patent assertion entities sometime called patent trolls which it is alleged harm customers.

Google has recently been embroiled in a case with one such company, Intellectual Ventures, over patents related to Motorola Mobility, the mobile technology unit it sold to Lenovo at the end of January.

Jane McCallion
Managing Editor

Jane McCallion is ITPro's Managing Editor, specializing in data centers and enterprise IT infrastructure. Before becoming Managing Editor, she held the role of Deputy Editor and, prior to that, Features Editor, managing a pool of freelance and internal writers, while continuing to specialize in enterprise IT infrastructure, and business strategy.

Prior to joining ITPro, Jane was a freelance business journalist writing as both Jane McCallion and Jane Bordenave for titles such as European CEO, World Finance, and Business Excellence Magazine.