Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) said they have entered into a long-term patent cross-licensing agreement covering a broad range of products and technologies.
The agreement allows each company to extract significant value from its patent portfolio through a license to the other´s portfolio and by helping to reduce the risk of future litigation. It stands in direct contrast to actions such as patent privateering — or the transfer of patents to patent assertion entities — that harm consumers.
“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.”
Dan Lang, Cisco´s vice president of intellectual property, said, “This agreement is an important step in promoting innovation and assuring freedom of operation.”
Both Cisco and Google are members of the Coalition for Patent Fairness, a leading advocacy group for patent reform. In addition, Cisco general counsel Mark Chandler recently reiterated a pledge not to sell patents to patent assertion entities in order to help encourage innovation rather than litigation.
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