Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and LG Electronics struck a patent cross-licensing deal similar to one Google announced in January with LG's larger rival, Samsung Electronics. The Google/LG agreement is an indication that the companies are working closely together but they were vague on the long-term implications of the deal.
LG and Google said the agreement covers "a broad range of products and technologies." The deal covers the two companies' existing patents as well as those they will file over the next 10 years.
"We're pleased to enter into this agreement with a leading global technology company like LG," Allen Lo, deputy general counsel for patents at Google, said in a statement. "By working together on cross-licenses like this, companies can focus on bringing great products and services to consumers around the world."
"LG values its relationship with Google, and this agreement underscores both companies' commitment to developing new products and technologies that enhance consumers' lives," J.H. Lee, executive vice president and head of the LG Electronics Intellectual Property Center, also noted.
LG has used Google's Android platform as its primary smartphone operating system, and it is also using Android Wear for its smart watches. The agreement likely helps cement the relationship between LG and Google in the mobile market.
While it's unclear what Google is getting out of the deal, LG is a massive electronics conglomerate the plays heavily in the home appliances market, an area Google is getting further enmeshed in thanks to its $3.2 billion deal to acquire Nest Labs.
When Google struck its patent-licensing deal with Samsung, the circumstances were somewhat more fraught. Samsung is the world's largest smartphone maker and by far the largest Android device maker. There had been reports of tension between the companies over how much control each would have over the design, user interface and services on Samsung's Android devices. However, the companies have downplayed those reports and seem to be cooperating well. The fact that Samsung has yet to release any Tizen-based phones, which some analysts saw as a potential alternative to Android, is also likely a factor keeping the peace between Google and Samsung.
- see this release
- see this CNET article
- see this VentureBeat article
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