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February 5, 2014

Google and Cisco sign cross-licensing pact

Deal will help both the companies to prevent litigation and ease the use of patented hardware.

By CBR Staff Writer

Google has signed a long-term patent cross-licensing agreement with the networking equipment maker Cisco that includes patents for various products and technologies.

The patent cross-licensing agreement deal will help both the companies to avoid any unnecessary patent lawsuits as well as allow the companies to use the designs without complete transfer of patents that would prove risky to the users.

The agreement also allows each company to capitalise from its patent portfolio through a license to the other’s portfolio, while the companies claim that it is in contrast to ‘patent privateering – or the transfer of patents to patent assertion entities’ – that ‘harm consumers’.

Google Patents deputy general counsel Allen Lo said the agreement with Cisco will reduce the potential for litigation, letting the company focus instead on building great new products.

"We’re pleased to enter into this cross-license, and we welcome discussions with any company interested in a similar arrangement," Lo added.

Cisco Intellectual Property vice president Dan Lang said in today’s overly-litigious environment, cross-licensing is an effective way for technology companies to work together and help prevent unnecessary patent lawsuits.

"This agreement is an important step in promoting innovation and assuring freedom of operation," Lang added.

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Previously, Google has entered into a global patent cross-licensing pact with Samsung that aimed at preventing ‘the potential for litigation’ while ‘focusing on innovation’.

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