Smartphone patent wars: Samsung signs 10-year patent cross-licensing agreement with Google, $US650 million settlement with Ericsson

Samsung has announced it has reached a 10-year patent cross-licensing agreement with Google, along with a $US650 million patent dispute settlement with Swedish telecommunications equipment maker Ericsson.

The deal with Ericsson, the former parent company of Sony’s smartphone division, will see the South Korean consumer electronics giant pay $US650 million plus ongoing royalties for patents covering GSM, UMTS, and LTE technologies.

“We are pleased that we could reach a mutually fair and reasonable agreement with Samsung. We always viewed litigation as a last resort,” Ericsson chief intellectual property officer Kasim Alfalahi says.

“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.”

Meanwhile, Google’s deal with Samsung is set to cover a “broad range of technologies and business areas” and include existing patents, as well as any new ones granted over the next decade.

Google, in turn, acquired a range of smartphone-related patents through its 2011 takeover of pioneering mobile phone maker Motorola Mobility.

“We’re pleased to enter into a cross-license with our partner Samsung,” Google’s deputy general counsel for patents, Allen Lo, says in a statement.

“By working together on agreements like this, companies can reduce the potential for litigation and focus instead on innovation.”

The news comes amid an ongoing series of patent lawsuits over smartphones, most notably between Samsung and Apple.

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