Google and Cisco Sign Major Patent Deal

Google and Cisco have signed a cross-licensing agreement that allows the two companies to use each other’s patents. The two companies say they have taken the step to take the wind out of the sails of patent trolls.

Neither Cisco nor Google will specify how many patents are included in the agreement and how long the agreement will last. However, both companies state that the agreement covers ‘a large number of techniques and companies’. Financial details of the cross-licensing agreement have not been made public.

The two American IT giants say they have signed the agreement to take the wind out of so-called patent trolls. These are mostly small companies that get hold of old patents from third parties and then file patent cases against numerous companies. Apple and Microsoft, among others, have fed such companies with patents.

In recent years, the number of patent cases initiated by patent trolls has grown to such an extent that many IT companies believe this is negatively impacting innovation and economic recovery in the US. For this reason, Google and Cisco say they have joined the Coalition for Patent Fairness, a number of companies that advocate reform of the US patent system. In addition, the conclusion of cross-licensing agreements is becoming an important defense method. Last month, for example, Google concluded a long-term patent deal with Samsung.