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Google and Samsung call truce with cross-license patent deal

The agreement between the two companies will cover the firms’ existing patents as well as those filed over the next ten years.

Image: AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon

SAMSUNG SAID IT had signed a long-term cross-licence deal with Google in a move to help the South Korean technology firm stave off potential patent disputes in the future.

The move comes as the South Korean firm is engaged in a series of long-running copyright infringement rows with Apple over technology and design in the firms’ smartphones and tablets.

Samsung said in a statement Monday that its agreement with US Internet search giant Google will cover the firms’ existing patents as well as those filed over the next ten years.

It said it would cover “a broad range of technologies and business areas,” without elaborating further.

“By working together on agreements like this, companies can reduce the potential for litigation and focus instead on innovation,” Allen Lo, Google’s deputy general counsel for patents, said in the statement.

Samsung said the latest deal would pave the way for deeper collaboration on research and development.

“Samsung and Google are showing the rest of the industry that there is more to gain from cooperating than engaging in unnecessary patent disputes,” said Ahn Seung-Ho, the head of Samsung’s intellectual property centre.

Almost all of Samsung’s smartphones and tablet computers are powered by the Android operating system made by Google.

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But Google’s purchase of Motorola Mobility and the rollout of its own Nexus mobile devices raised questions that the two partners may soon directly compete against each other.

Also happening today, Samsung agreed to pay Swedish electronics company Ericsson $650 million (€475 million) along with years of royalties to end a technology license spat.

The company had sued Samsung in 2012 on the grounds that it had infringed patents involving technology for clearer voice transmission, touchscreen functions and network efficiency.

Read: Samsung considers bringing eye-scan security to Galaxy S5 >

Read: How Facebook and other tech giants want to give the whole world internet access >

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