Through its official global blog, Samsung today announced a new patent licensing deal reached with Google, whereby both companies will have access to each other's existing patents and those filed over the next ten years, covering "a broad range of technologies and business areas."

The cross-licensing agreement is described by Google's Deputy General Counsel for Patents, Allen Lo, as one that will help the two giants "reduce the potential for litigation, and focus instead on innovation." Indeed that has been a popular refrain as both Google and Samsung have historically faced (and continue to face) patent challenges from various other companies on various grounds. (Rather than linking specific stories, just take a look at our search results for "Google+patent" and "Samsung+patent.")

This isn't the first step Google has taken to ease the patent strain however - readers may remember that, in March 2013, Google began an initiative called the Open Patent Non-Assertion Pledge, which allows entities to access a pool of Google-controlled patents that the company promises not to sue anyone over so long as the entity using the patent doesn't first try to file a legal proceeding against Google for patent use.

In August 2012, Google also opened up a "Prior Art Finder" to its patent search tool, and made European patents searchable.

While the Samsung/Google deal may be substantially different from Google's past steps, it is another reminder that Google and others are still trying to solve the patent litigation puzzle. Dr. Seungho Ahn, Head of Samsung's Intellectual Property Center optimistically reminding readers "Samsung and Google are showing the rest of the industry that there is more to gain from cooperation than engaging in unnecessary patent disputes."

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • Bob G


  • NinoBr0wn

    I'll be the first to say I'm not the biggest fan of Samsung, but I guess this makes sense, given the state of the current patent forecast. As they said, two giants coming together with this partnership, if you will, should provide added protection, along with innovation. Curious though. I wonder how this affects the talk of Samsung moving on or branching out from Android.

    • jamaall

      They are way too big to do that in the near future. They're making plenty of money so it would make zero sense. This holds them together even more.

      • NinoBr0wn

        That's why I said the talk of it, not actually doing it.

    • The Sense Bringer

      Get off of the Tizen thing already...

      • NinoBr0wn

        I'm sorry do I know you? Have we talked about this before? Have I even mentioned anything Tizen lol.. Did you comprehend what I said?

      • Tanson

        Obviously "the sense bringer" has nothing to do, no one to talk to or hold. So he needs to troll on the Internet to make time go by. Poor guy, or girl. Probably girl.

  • Tanson

    What does this mean for the future for both companies?

    • The Sense Bringer

      It means they won't sue each other...

      • Tanson

        I forgot have to be way more specific... I wonder what innovation will come from both companies using each other's to patents.

        • AbbyZFresh

          It means it gives Google and Samsung more incentive to share more ideas and resources from each other to improve their phones while at the same time protecting each other from lawsuits coming from Microsoft, Nokia, and Apple.

          • http://www.stevenmattera.com Steven Mattera

            I would assume this would also make Samsung and Google both a scarier target to potentially sue over a patent dispute as both companies have just increased their patent portfolio quite nicely.

          • pyroon

            Does this mean if Google found guilty of patent infringement then Samsung will be guilty too ?
            i.e they're in the same boat..

        • blootz

          These guys don't understand what your saying. To answer you, I think it would be cool to see Google incorporate the s-pen in their next Nexus and Samsung to have their version of the Moto X.

          • Tanson

            That would be cool... A nexus with a s pen... Damn

          • joser116

            I think a Nexus with an S-Pen would have been possible even without this agreement. After all, the S-Pen is Wacom technology.

        • Plazmic Flame

          It means we could get a Galaxy Note 4 - Google Play Edition with S-Pen functionality! That's all I want!!!

  • joser116

    I wonder how other Android OEMs will react.

    • yankeesusa

      Not too mad since google shares their os for free to a certain degree, oem companies can take advantage of this patent sharing. Even if it takes a cross licensing deal its the best thing for everyone. At least on paper it looks good.

  • Darkbotic

    Other Android OEMs should follow Samsung steps and join Google too...
    Do you imagine that?

    Google, Samsung, Motorola, HTC and LG vs Apple.
    Google, Samsung, Motorola, HTC and LG vs Microsoft.

    That would be epic!

    • AbbyZFresh

      Motorola's patents falls under Google now.

      • Darkbotic

        I know, that's why I include them too.

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      Uh, I think you forgot Sony, Huawei, Lenovo, and Oppo

      • David Hart

        Not really

      • Guillaume ‘XpLoDWilD’

        Sony maybe, the three others aren't big enough imho.

      • pyroon

        Doesn't Sony already join the 'other side' to sue google patents ?

      • AndroidUser00110001

        Sony already joined the Apple and Microsoft group which is going after Android and Google.

  • Jephri

    Aww... Best friends!

    • Ray

      Hahaha!! Made my day... thanks!

  • Brendan

    So does this mean Samsung will be more obligated to follow Android design guidelines? What about all of their replacement apps for Google services, such as their Samsung store, Samsung email, etc.?

    • GreenyO

      No, it doesn't mean that. Samsung has still the "right" to make any phone or any OS modification they want

  • Dodododo

    This is big news because hopefully Google can now bring some touchwiz features over to stock Android. Since the general public equates Samsung with Android this will be a good look for both companies. Samsung has probably realized that it gets its sales from brand recognition and not the loads of crap software they put on phones. And even though i called it crap software Touchwiz does have a lot of great features and some that could benefit from a google polish. For example how S-beam is 100X better than Android beam.. since wifi direct is just faster.. But overall its good to see the same type of cooperation that got us the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S again.

    • s44

      Can we haz multi-window AOSP now?

  • bassman418

    Faster updates like Motorola has been getting after their merge?

    • Freak4Dell

      This isn't going to affect any of that. Samsung could do faster updates without the patents. They just choose to waste time incorporating their bloatware instead.

      • joser116

        You're right. If Motorola was able to deliver a KitKat update even before some GPE devices got KitKat, then Samsung is also able to do it.

  • Tony Whack Jr

    I think it's a good move for both of them. Keeps the bs outta the pic, both companies keep making money.

  • spoodermain

    Even more money for apple on their next winning patent case

  • HolyFreakingCrap

    Maybe Google will influence Samsung to take a bath and wash some of the fucking scum bag off.

    • NOT RahmEmanuel

      Wow, harsh. You mad, Google-hating bro?

      • joser116

        He was hating at Samsung, not Google.

  • Naga Sridhar

    And then there were rumors of trouble between Google and Samsung!!

  • milad

    Worst move Google could have done , Samsung wants to use Google patents in order to abuse it with its tizen OS!

    • yankeesusa

      And how long have you been working with samsung? I love all this insider information you have

  • Rovex

    This is all about protecting each other from Apple and Nokia, its not about them agreeing to not sue each other.

    Samsung now has Googles patents to help defend itself against Apple, it fills in holes that Apple have been using.

    It also helps prevent other trolls attacking Google directly.

    • Drew M

      They've licensed patents, not transferred ownership. Samsung can't use Google's patents in a counter-suit. But licensing to partners can add legitimacy to patents that can strengthen a case against a nonparticipant. To put it differently, such a patent would look more crucial in it's function and more valuable for compensatory damages to a jury in a certain court located in East Texas.

  • yankeesusa

    This is great news. This really does mean, more innovation and now since both will share the patents they can work together to defend those that instead of making something better are trying to keep others from making something that is outdoing them.

  • Johnny Bravo

    I thought it meant Google Plus patents, not Google+patents the operator plus

  • Matthew Fry

    It's much easier to come to a deal with your business associates than it is with your competitors. I seriously doubt this is heralding a new age of patent friendliness.

    • joser116

      Samsung could also be seen as a Google competitor.

      • Matthew Fry

        How so? They are the top selling Android OEM. In what way to do they compete? I guess Motorola competes with Samsung but they're targeting different markets. Motorola is like an experimental test bed and Samsung is pushing fitness and specs.

        • joser116

          I already know Samsung is the top Android OEM.
          Motorola and Samsung both sell smartphones. Therefore, they are competitors.

          • Matthew Fry

            That's a very closed minded zero sum view of things.

          • joser116

            Nope, that's a simple, to the point, view of things. I wouldn't even call it my view of things because my view of things is much broader. I just chose to reply sharply and to the point.

  • Stevles

    "Dr. Seungho Ahn, Head of Samsung's Intellectual Property Center optimistically reminding readers "Samsung and Google are showing the rest of the industry that there is more to gain from cooperation than engaging in unnecessary patent disputes."

    In other words: Go fuck yourself Apple.