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Google and Cisco enter cross-licensing deal to stop patent trolling

Firms also aim to curtail patent privateering
Tue Feb 04 2014, 14:47
Image of a horrible online troll at a computer

INTERNET GIANT Google has entered a patents cross-licensing agreement with Cisco in order to avoid any potential future legal complications.

Google and Cisco announced the partnership on Tuesday, saying that they will license each other's patents as part of a larger effort to put an end to nuisance patent lawsuits and reduce the risk of future ligitation.

The two firms also said that this agreement will also stop patent "privateering", which refers to the practice of small shell companies as well as some big firms such as Apple and Microsoft to use intellectual property to attack other companies, otherwise known as patent trolling.

The companies did not disclose financial details of the agreement, and it is unclear how many patents are involved.

Google deputy privacy counsel for patents Allan Lo said in a statement, "Our agreement with Cisco will reduce the potential for litigation, letting us focus instead on building great new products.

"We're pleased to enter into this cross-license, and we welcome discussions with any company interested in a similar arrangement."

Cisco VP of intellectual property Dan Lang added, "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."

The announcment comes just days after IBM entered into a patent licensing agreement with Twitter that saw the microblogging website acquire 900 of Big Blue's patents.

Last week also saw Google enter a 10-year patent licensing deal with Samsung, getting closer to the Android phone maker after having sold Motorola to Lenovo. µ


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