Samsung just announced that they have entered into a 10-year-long patent cross-licensing agreement with Cisco Systems. This agreement is actually effective immediately, there are no details that need knocking out, it is immediately applicable. Each company will have access to the other’s patent portfolio under the agreement, which is said to cover a broad range of products and technologies. In addition to covering any existing patents, it also covers any patents filed over the course of the next 10 years, as well.
Samsung is no stranger to such an arrangement, you know, since they only signed a nearly identical agreement with Google only 10 days ago. From what it looks like, Samsung appears to be the initiator of these patent agreements since they are the only common company in these 10 year patent cross-licensing agreements. And from what it looks like, in both agreements, both sides have a lot to benefit from. But for Samsung it really appears to be the fact that they would gain access to vast patent reserves from both Google and Cisco. This would likely enable them to nearly entirely avoid patent infringement suits like the ones with Apple costing them hundreds of millions.
There isn’t much else to talk about here other than the fact that such an agreement signifies the strength of Samsung as a company and their ability to enter into such agreements with such big companies. Both Google and Cisco have vast patent vaults and would prove incredibly valuable to Samsung to protect themselves from any sort of litigation in the future. Clearly, Samsung’s leadership believes that these 10-year patent cross-licensing agreements are more important than constantly being dragged into court and being seen as the bad guy. Sure, there are cases where Samsung clearly copied their competitors, but they are also being made a target by various patent trolls because of Samsung’s perception as a patent abuser in Apple’s suits.
We’re not entirely sure what the ramifications will be of Samsung having two 10-year long patent cross-licensing agreements, but it will likely result in them spending less money in court. Hopefully.