South Korea's tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. said Monday it and U.S. Internet giant Google Inc. have agreed to share their intellectual properties and avoid necessary patent disputes, a step giving Samsung a much needed edge in an ongoing patent war, especially with U.S rival Apple Inc.
Under the cross-license agreement, Samsung and Google will share their existing patents as well as those obtained over the next 10 years, allowing the two industry leaders to tap into deeper research and development.
"This agreement with Google is highly significant for the technology industry," said Ahn Seung-ho, the head of Samsung's Intellectual Property Center. "Samsung and Google are showing the rest of the industry that there is more to gain from cooperating than engaging in unnecessary patent disputes."
Allen Lo, the deputy general counsel for patents at Google, echoed the view, saying the two can reduce the potential for litigation and focus instead on innovation through the deal.
Market watchers expect Samsung to be able to gain an upper hand in a series of patent disputes with its rivals around the globe, including those with U.S. tech giant Apple Inc.
Samsung, like others in the industry, has been targeted for lawsuits from non-practicing entities (NPEs), which earn or seek to earn the majority of their revenue from licensing or enforcing patents.
The South Korean tech giant had 38 cases filed against it in 2013, ranking fifth in the number of patent suits filed against tech firms by NPEs, the data by U.S.-based market researcher Patent Freedom showed.
More than nine out of 10 smartphones in South Korea run on Google's Android platform, far above the 5.1 percent for Apple's iOS, separate data by market researcher Strategy Analytics showed.
Samsung Electronics, the world's No. 1 smartphone maker, accounts for more than 60 percent of the market share on its home turf and is projected to take up 36.2 percent of the world's smartphone market in the first quarter of 2014, widening the gap with its U.S. and Chinese rivals, the researcher added. (Yonhap)