The ongoing patent troll wars in the tech arena have definitely hampered innovation. To remedy this situation an advocacy group for patent reform – the Coalition for Patent Fairness – has been formed, which is currently being spearheaded by two tech giants – Google and Cisco. The Coalition for Patent Fairness aims to rectify the overly litigious nature of patent lawsuits in the country, and simultaneously promote cooperation between technology companies.
With this aim in mind, it appears that Google has been strengthening the patent portfolio it controls and is entering into cross licensing deals with other interested parties. We heard the news of such a tie-up between Google and the Korean manufacturer – Samsung. This aspect of Google's strategy is also evident through their recent sale of Motorola to Lenovo for approximately $3 billion, during which Google has kept the control of Motorola's patent portfolio with them.
In another news update, we get to hear that Google has entered into another long term cross-licensing deal, this time with the IT routers manufacturing major Cisco. Under the terms of this agreement, Google and Cisco gain access to the others' patent portfolio and can extract significant value from it. This would help to reduce the potential for litigation.
"Our agreement with Cisco will reduce the potential for litigation, letting us focus instead on building great new products," said Allen Lo, Google's Deputy General Counsel for Patents. "We're pleased to enter into this cross-license, and we welcome discussions with any company interested in a similar arrangement."
Dan Lang, Vice President of Intellectual Property at Cisco says that "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."
Since the last few months, Google has come forward and taken an active role in the forefront of the patent troll wars, by especially aiming to head off the Rockstar Alliance – which is a major patent troll, headed by Apple and Microsoft. However what needs to be seen is how willing other OEMs would be to enter such cross-licensing deals. Either ways, time will tell. We would love to hear your take in the comments section below.