Google continues to extend a hand of cooperation to its competitors in the industry. First they sealed a deal with Samsung and Ericsson, in which they cross licensed each others patents. Now they’ve done the same with Cisco, effectively bringing their disagreements to an end. Google is taking a proactive approach to this whole thing and in my opinion, this is what’s best for not only Google and their partners, but for the consumer as well. Here’s what Cisco had to say about this recent deal with Google.
The agreement allows each company to extract significant value from its patent portfolio through a license to the other’s portfolio and by helping to reduce the risk of future litigation. It stands in direct contrast to actions such as patent privateering – or the transfer of patents to patent assertion entities – that harm consumers.
“Our agreement with Cisco will reduce the potential for litigation, letting us focus instead on building great new products,” said Allen Lo, Google’s Deputy General Counsel for Patents. “We’re pleased to enter into this cross-license, and we welcome discussions with any company interested in a similar arrangement.”
“In today’s overly-litigious environment, cross-licensing is an effective way for technology companies to work together and help prevent unnecessary patent lawsuits,” said Dan Lang, Cisco’s Vice President of Intellectual Property. “This agreement is an important step in promoting innovation and assuring freedom of operation.”
Both Cisco and Google are members of the Coalition for Patent Fairness, a leading advocacy group for patent reform. In addition, Cisco General Counsel Mark Chandler recently reiterated a pledge not to sell patents to patent assertion entities in order to help encourage innovation rather than litigation.
Maybe, just maybe we’re seeing a light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to patent litigation and trolling, at least when it concerns the big corporations. I think Google is moving in the right direction and one can only hope that others will follow its lead. Apple has always fought hard to protect its patent portfolio and I wouldn’t expect them to follow suit, at least not at this point. Somewhere down the line if times call for it, they may just have to work hand in hand with some of their most fierce competitors. Hit the link below for sources.