In many ways, Google + Samsung are Android. All of the other Android devices and brands are sideshows acts compared to the Google + Samsung. That impression has gotten a good bit stronger now that the two companies have signed a wide-ranging patent crossing licensing agreement. Should Apple be worried?
Google + Samsung have announced a 10 year, global patent cross licensing agreement:
Samsung Electronics and Google Inc. furthered their long-term cooperative partnership with a global patent cross-license agreement covering a broad range of technologies and business areas. The mutually beneficial agreement covers the two companies’ existing patents as well as those filed over the next 10 years.
“We’re pleased to enter into a cross-license with our partner Samsung,” said Allen Lo, Deputy General Counsel for Patents at Google. “By working together on agreements like this, companies can reduce the potential for litigation and focus instead on innovation.”
With this agreement, Samsung and Google gain access to each other’s industry-leading patent portfolios, paving the way for deeper collaboration on research and development of current and future products and technologies.
“This agreement with Google is highly significant for the technology industry,” said Dr. Seungho Ahn, the Head of Samsung’s Intellectual Property Center. “Samsung and Google are showing the rest of the industry that there is more to gain from cooperating than engaging in unnecessary patent disputes.”
Google and Samsung have worked closely together for six-plus years to make Android the most popular mobile operating system. Nevertheless, Samsung has always seemed at least somewhat uneasy in the relationship. Samsung’s own Tizen mobile operating system, as well as its TouchWhiz Android skin and many, many in-house Android feature add-ons make it seem like the Korean smartphone maker would be doing something else if they could.
Whether or not Samsung still wants to break free isn’t clear. However, if it does go its own way regarding smartphones, Google + Samsung will still be a thing for 10 years.
Google + Samsung: Two 800lbs Gorillas
Should Apple be worried about the now closer Google + Samsung relationship? Meh, to my eye, and I’m no lawyer, the Google + Samsung patent cross licensing agreement could make it easier for Apple to enforce terms across the Android biz once it finishes beating Samsung, which now seems inevitable…
What’s your take?