Google and Samsung are now sharing patents with each other.
Samsung announced that it has signed a global patent cross-license deal with Google that is expected to strengthen their long-term cooperative partnership. The agreement will cover a "broad" range of technologies and business areas, their existing patents, and those that will be filed over the next ten years.
"We're pleased to enter into a cross-license with our partner Samsung," said Allen Lo, Deputy General Counsel for Patents at Google. "By working together on agreements like this, companies can reduce the potential for litigation and focus instead on innovation."
Thanks to the new agreement, Samsung and Google will now have access to each others' patent portfolios. This will provide a "deeper" collaboration regarding research and development of current and future products and technologies. However, neither company will "own" the other’s patents, meaning Samsung can't use Google's patents against Apple in court.
Unfortunately, Samsung and Google did not provide any financial information, terms, or what patents and technology the blanket agreement covers. However, the deal will likely increase Samsung's chances of participating in Google's key projects as a hardware partner.
Currently, Samsung, the maker of Android-based Galaxy devices, remains locked in a patent dispute with Apple. The latest episode will see the two CEOs try to make a settlement by February 19. The two companies have been tangled up in the dispute for several years, with the next trial beginning on March 31 regarding Samsung's Galaxy S3 and Apple's iPhone 5.
"This agreement with Google is highly significant for the technology industry," said Dr. 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."
The news seemingly dispels speculation that due to Samsung developing its own operating system, Tizen, and Google selling Android phones through Motorola, the relationship between the two companies is growing sour.
Speaking of Tizen, an unnamed official reports that Samsung is delaying the mobile platform again. Originally, Tizen-based devices were scheduled to arrive in the first half of 2013, and then they were pushed back into the first half of 2014. Unfortunately, the official did not state why the new operating system was delayed and when the platform is expected to arrive.