Google, Cisco ink cross-licensing patent deal

Google, Cisco ink cross-licensing patent deal

Summary: 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.

Topics: Legal, Cisco, Google, Government US, Patents

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Cross licensing means never having to say your sorry

    When MS asks why you stopped paying royalties on doubtful patent infringement claims.
    • That's the thing, they don't ask for royalties

      on doubtful patent infringement, they do ask for royalties on the known ones that Android has infringed on. What this shows is that Google is happy to infringe on patents of others, while leaving the individual companies to pay up for Google.

      I guess people were right when they said that Android really isn't free..
  • Well intresting

    Cooking up something?