Google and Samsung make deal to share patents

Samsung has a new deal with Google to share patents.

Google and Samsung have announced a new licensing deal to share current and future patents over the next decade. The move is seen as a way to bolster both companies as they continue competing with chief rival, Apple.

To Florian Mueller, patent consultant and blogs at Foss Patents, the new deal isn’t much of a surprise. “It’s a peace treaty among friends, not a peace treaty among enemies,” he says.

He says after being ordered to pay Apple nearly $1 billion dollars for patent infringement last year, the deal won’t give Samsung any new legal protection. But it is good PR, especially right before a new trial is set to kick off against Apple in March?

“Samsung just wants to avoid, really strives to avoid the image and the reputation of an infringer who disrespects patent rights,” he says.

But Laurence Balter with Oracle Investment Research says this new deal is Samsung -- yet again -- borrowing from Apple’s, specifically the idea to connect all of its devices. 

“When you take a picture at your kid’s birthday party and it automatically synchs up to all your other devices, that’s the ecosystem. What Google and Samsung are trying to do is emulate that,” he says.

Balter says Samsung’s on-going litigation with Apple has pushed the Korean company to diversify.

He calls the deal with Google a no-brainer. 

About the author

Dan Gorenstein is the senior reporter for Marketplace’s Health Desk. You can follow him on Twitter @dmgorenstein.

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