Google and Samsung hit the headlines recently after signing a global patent cross-licensing agreement. It’s a great idea, because the deal means that the chances of the two companies raising litigation issues over intellectual property down the line are vastly reduced. Not only that, but it increases the likelihood of the two brands working together on future projects.
After a spate of innocuous, almost trivial trademark and patent issues in the news in recent times, it’s nice to see a sensible move. Two successful brands have identified that there’s more to gain from cooperating together than from arguing.
Let’s put the deal in a bit of context though. It must be said that the two companies already work closely together – for starters, Samsung uses Google’s Android mobile operating system. Nevertheless, the deal represents something of a breakthrough and is likely to inspire similar ‘partnerships’ throughout every industry.
It should also probably be noted that Samsung may be taking a bit of a safety-first approach at the moment– they don’t need any other problems. The electronics giant are already facing multiple lawsuits, with Apple claiming that Samsung (by virtue of its best-selling range of Galaxy smartphones) copied the designs for the iPhone. Quite a claim.
That problem in particular has rumbled on for a few years, but it’s expected to be resolved soon. So, do Samsung view the agreement with Google as one that strengthens their position against Apple? Quite possibly. But what’s for sure is, there’s more than one good reason for shaking hands with the stellar search engine.
With the number of patent lawsuits filed in the world of smartphones and tablets, expect more deals to be struck. There are ongoing battles between Apple and Google, Microsoft and Google, as well as Sony and Google. Meanwhile, there have been patent licensing agreements between Samsung and Nokia, plus Apple and HTC. Expect more battles and more partnerships as the tension rises.
At the end of the day, all these companies just care about their bottom lines. And their bottom lines are directly influenced by patents. That’s why these businesses are trying to register as many as possible – after all, the more patents you have, the more protected you are. Therefore, the more partnerships you can forge, the more powerful you become.
Collaboration then, it seems, is the order of the day.