Google, Samsung sign patent deal

Tech giants Google and Samsung have signed an agreement allowing the two companies to license each other’s patents.

The deal covers a broad range of business areas and will help avoid expensive legal fights, executives said in statements on Monday.

“By working together on agreements like this, companies can reduce the potential for litigation and focus instead on innovation,” said Allen Lo, Google’s deputy general counsel for patents.

Under terms of the agreement, the companies will be able to access each other’s current portfolio of patents as well as patents filed over the next decade. Financial details were not disclosed.

The cross-licensing arrangement should allow for “deeper collaboration” on researching and developing new technologies, Samsung said in a statement.

“This agreement with Google is highly significant for the technology industry,” said 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.” 

Tech companies have often levied legal charges against each other for infinging on patent rights. 

Samsung produces many smartphones based on Google's Android operating system. The Korea-based firm has frequently squared off against Apple, which competes against both companies with its iPhones.

Google, based in California, recently acquired Motorola Mobility and Nest Labs, and has started to produce its own hardware.