Cisco and Samsung have announced a patent cross-licensing agreement, in the latest high-profile legal pact between leading tech firms.
The move also comes after Apple, Microsoft and Blackberry formed the Rockstar consortium of patents holders in 2012, which took action against Google last year.
The 10-year deal will see both companies gain access to each other’s portfolio of patents, which Cisco's vice president of Intellectual Property Dan Lang said would give both firms room to innovate without fear of litigation.
“Innovation is stifled all too often in today’s overly litigious environment,” he said. “By cross-licensing our patent portfolios, Cisco and Samsung are taking important steps to reverse the trend and advance innovation and freedom of operation.”
Samsung also welcomed the deal, no doubt pleased to have avoided the risk of any future litigation as it remains embroiled in long-running and costly patent spats with Apple around the globe.
“We look forward to working with Cisco,” said Dr Seungho Ahn, the head of Samsung Electronics Intellectual Property Center. “We expect this agreement to result in mutual growth and, ultimately, the benefit of both companies’ customers across the world."
The deal underlines the importance of patents to leading tech firms as the industry becomes ever more sensitive to issues of infringement and the implications this could hold. Late last month IBM and Twitter signed a deal to transfer 900 patents to the micro-blogging site to end litigation between the two firms.
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