Technology companies are renowned for their bitter and expensive patent litigation and legal battles over who owns what licenses and how they are used. Some of the biggest names — Apple and Samsung for two — have been embroiled in patent lawsuits for years in courts in many countries as they try to edge each other out of the mobile device market. But a unique reconciliation of sorts has been made between Google and Cisco — two other giants — who have come to terms in order to relieve themselves of future patent problems.

The two companies signed an agreement that allows the each to license the other’s patents in a cross-licensing deal that will essentially make it less likely that either violates patents and must bring the other to court. In such an agreement, both companies will be avoiding the exorbitant fees of patent litigation, and they will both have access — for likely high fees — to the other’s patents.  

Reuters reported Allen Lo, Google’s deputy general counsel for patents, as stating: “We’re pleased to enter into this cross-license, and we welcome discussions with any company interested in a similar arrangement.” 

All in all, it seems like a win-win. And, indeed, Google is not experimenting with Cisco in this regard. The company has forged this agreement shortly after forming a long-term agreement in a similar vein with Samsung. In short, these cross-licensing deals afford Google assurance that it will not be wrongfully encroached upon by other tech conglomerates, but it also assures it of retaining its billions that it aims to devote to research and development of new technologies.


Further reading:

Oracle and Google headed for IP showdown with major implications

Google and Samsung sign cross-licensing agreement

Nokia could take on Google for mapping patents