It appears 2014 could be a turning point in the endless battle of patent disputes among major tech companies. Samsung and Google and have just announced a landmark global patent agreement covering both current patent portfolios and any other ones acquired in the next 10 years. Now Samsung and Ericsson have also just agreed to end all patent litigation and enter a cross-licensing agreement on mobile technologies.
“We are pleased that we could reach a mutually fair and reasonable agreement with Samsung. We always viewed litigation as a last resort,” said Kasim Alfalahi, the chief intellectual property officer at Ericsson. “This agreement allows us to continue to focus on bringing new technology to the global market and provides an incentive to other innovators to share their own ideas.”
Alfalahi should be pleased, along with Ericsson shareholders, as the deal includes provisions for an initial lump payment and ongoing royalty payments by Samsung to Ericsson for the term of the multi-year agreement (undisclosed specifics so far). This puts an end to all lawsuits between the two companies in the International Trade Commission (ITC) along with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
Following the deal with Google earlier, this is an all around positive step for Samsung, too, that allows for a bright future and limits some of the ongoing patent disputes. Now if Apple, who is in negotiations with Samsung right now, were to join the party with its patent portfolio, maybe 2014 will truly go down as the year of collaborative innovation and the end of the patent wars!
Do you believe patent peace is ahead?