Feeds

Google and Cisco sheath swords in patent-war deal

Peace in our time?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Google has signed another patent-licensing deal, this time with Cisco, signaling that it has had enough of the Great Patent War litigation frenzy – for the moment, at least.

"Our agreement with Cisco will reduce the potential for litigation, letting us focus instead on building great new products," said Allen Lo, Google's deputy general counsel for patents. "We're pleased to enter into this cross-license, and we welcome discussions with any company interested in a similar arrangement."

Under the terms of the deal, Google and Cisco will agree to share patents as a methods of avoiding litigation between the two firms, and also to strengthen their mutual defenses against "patent assertion entities" – the nice way of saying "patent trolls". Last week, coincidentally, Google started a new round of legal fighting with Intellectual Ventures, one of the largest patent trolls assertion entities.

"In today's overly-litigious environment, cross-licensing is an effective way for technology companies to work together and help prevent unnecessary patent lawsuits," said Dan Lang, Cisco's VP of intellectual property. "This agreement is an important step in promoting innovation and assuring freedom of operation."

It does seem like the Chocolate Factory is coming to its senses and seeking to end the costly rounds of litigation in which it has entangled itself. Last week Google signed off on a similar deal with Samsung to end long-standing disagreements over IP, and more deals are rumored to be in the pipeline.

That said, Google is not going to be running up the white flag in patent courts. Last week's deal to sell Motorola Mobility to Lenovo, but keep the patents, shows the firm is still wedded to extracting royalties, but it's clear the firm is trying to find a better way to do this than going head-to-head in court. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst
Big weekend queues only represent fruity firm's supply
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Bill Gates, drugs and the internet: Top 10 Larry Ellison quotes
'I certainly never expected to become rich ... this is surreal'
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
EMC, HP blockbuster 'merger' shocker comes a cropper
Stand down, FTC... you can put your feet up for a bit
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.