Google, Cisco ink cross-licensing patent deal

Patent lawsuits and disputes are so 2012. Cross-licensing deals are fueling an emerging trend in 2014.

Patent cross-licensing deals are the new patent suits.

Two Silicon Valley titans, Cisco and Google, have inked a new deal of their own that should save the two from legal skirmishes down the road, at least between each other.

The two companies have entered into a cross-licencing patent agreement that will cover "a broad range of products and technologies." However, neither party disclosed how many patents are covered by the agreement nor more details about specific products.

Google alone already has a patent portfolio of more than 50,000.

Just last week , Twitter acquired more than 900 patents from IBM amid a broad cross-licensing deal that staved a potential intellectual property spat.

Google, which has been entangled in a number of different high-profile patent-related legal battles of its own, has spoken out vehemently against patent trolling and basically anything that doesn't line up with its open source soapbox.

Nearly a year ago, the Mountain View, Calif.-based enterprise published what it dubbed as the Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge, in which Google pledged "not to sue any user, distributor or developer of open-source software on specified patents, unless first attacked."

Google led off that initiative with with 10 patents related to MapReduce (the proprietary forerunner to the open source Hadoop framework), expanding the pledge to cover 79 patents related to data center management by August 2013.

Along with Google, Cisco is also a member of the Coalition for Patent Fairness, an advocacy group for patent reform.

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