Google opens doors on Android patent peace club

The Android maker has revealed an agreement between big non-Apple smartphone makers to share patents among themselves.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

At the start of the year, the big Android smartphone players got together and agreed to share patents under an undisclosed deal.

Google, Samsung, and LG started out in January, with HTC, Foxconn, Coolpad, BQ, HMD, and Allview joining a month later. It took until April for Google to reveal the existence of the agreement that it has labelled PAX.

"Under PAX, members grant each other royalty-free patent licences covering Android and Google Applications on qualified devices," Google business and operations vice president for Android and Google Play Jamie Rosenberg said in a blog post.

"This community-driven clearinghouse, developed together with our Android partners, ensures that innovation and consumer choice -- not patent threats -- will continue to be key drivers of our Android ecosystem. PAX is free to join and open to anyone."

Under the moniker of "patent peace", the members of PAX will share in excess of 230,000 patents, although the text of the agreement has not been disclosed.

In September 2015, Google and Microsoft agreed to a patent armistice and settled around 20 lawsuits outstanding at the time.

Microsoft has signed up most Android manufacturers to patent licensing agreements over the past half-decade.

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