Samsung’s looking to secure the future of their mobile and electronics business with cross-licensing patent deals with two major industry players. It has been announced that the company has come to a 10-year agreement with Google for the two companies to use each other’s patents. Samsung also settled a long-standing battle with Ericsson with a similar cross-licensing deal,
though further terms weren’t disclosed. [UPDATE]: The deal is reportedly worth $650 million.
Samsung and Google says their deal is as functionally necessary as it is symbolic. The two want to show the rest of the industry that patents don’t have to be used as arms in drawn out, expensive and unnecessary wars. While it’s easiest to point out the never-ending spats between Samsung and Apple as the biggest example of this, it’s necessary to point out that many more major players on all sides of the court are guilty of it.
We likely have a very long way to go before patent trolling dies down. In fact, it’s hard to imagine it’ll ever die down without significant patent reform. It’s why companies like Samsung and Google have had to invest billions of dollars in securing patents for the future, using them as protection against companies taking aim at them around every turn.
Google’s most notable move was securing Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. That particular deal has been working out great for the company’s handset business, because the new Google-fied Motorola is flat-out awesome.
That said, it wouldn’t be wrong to suggest most of that valuation was due to Motorola’s extensive catalog of significant cellular patents (many of which Samsung will certainly look to take advantage of throughout this 10-year period). Let’s hope these agreements allow for more innovation by all parties, and let’s hope more companies take notice and follow suit in due time.
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TAGS: patent wars, patents