Google and LG Enter Cross-Licensing Patent Agreement for the Next Decade

By Joe Rizzo November 05, 2014

In general, companies file patents on their products, devices or technology to keep other companies from copying their work. Patents have been around for centuries, it is believed that the oldest patent was seen in medieval times.

We have seen over the decades that lawsuits are constantly going back and forth between major companies, such as Apple, Samsung and Nokia, just to mention a few for patent infringement. This week we have an announcement that no only allows two companies to share their patents, but also any new patents that are filed for the next 10 years.

Google and LG Electronics have both just announced that they will be entering into a long term cross-licensing patent agreement that will span over the next decade. The South Korean Electronics company stated the agreement covers a broad range of technologies and other products and that they are pleased to be entering into such an agreement of this nature.

The Android platform is used by a lot of smartphone and tablet makers. Possibly the largest company that has been in bed, so to speak, with Google is Samsung. In fact, a similar 10 year agreement was struck between Google and Samsung at the beginning of this year. Considering that both companies sort of need each other since Samsung has a substantial market share of Android devices, their agreement comes as no surprise.

Allen Lo, Google’s deputy general counsel of patents, in remarking about LG’s comments concerning the agreement, in a statement he said, “Google is also pleased to enter into an agreement with a leading global technology company like LG.” He also mentioned that the creation of such a cross-licensing deal will allow both companies to focus on bringing great products and services to people around the world.

It appears that Google and LG already have a very good working relationship considering that LG has been behind two of the past generation Nexus devices with the Nexus 4 and last year’s Nexus 5. However, it does seem that both companies are in no rush to reveal what exactly the terms of the agreement includes. Google may be looking to keep LG on a short leash when it comes to the way they want their OS to appear on devices. We know that Samsung wants to work on its own OS, so while there are no real details, you have to wonder if there are big plans in the works, or if they’re merely trying to set the stage for the future so that they can begin to work towards new things.

A strong possibility is that Google is looking ahead and planning for a future that will see a stronger foothold in the world of Android. LG, meanwhile, may find that a cross-licensing deal could help them continue to excel as one of the leading Android OEMs, possibly bringing more competition to Samsung.

While many questions are still up in the air, there is one thing that is certain; a blanket agreement of this type does eliminate the chances of lawsuits while also simplifying the licensing process. In a world full of patent lawsuits between some of the biggest corporations over technology that many people have forgotten about, two of the biggest companies have committed to sharing ideas with each other. Maybe there is hope for the future!

Edited by Maurice Nagle

TechZone360 Contributing Writer

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