Samsung Forges Patent Alliance with Cisco, Google

Samsung is forging patent-sharing alliances with IT giants around the world to gain an advantage in the post-smartphone era. The company on Thursday said it has signed a cross-licensing pact with Cisco Systems of the U.S.

Under the contract, Samsung and Cisco will share not only their existing patents but those being developed by both sides over the next decade.

Samsung signed a similar pact with Google late last month, and Google and Cisco for their part signed a cross-licensing contract with each other on Tuesday, creating a trilateral alliance.

The Korean electronics giant is locked in a lengthy legal battle with rival Apple over patent infringement. This year Samsung has either forged new patent-sharing deals with five major IT companies or has extended existing deals in order to avoid future legal bother.

Ahn Seung-ho at Samsung said the aim of the pacts is to "minimize potential patent lawsuits and focus on service innovation."

Samsung has around 100,000 global patents, while Google owns around 50,000 and Cisco Systems around 10,000, but many of Samsung's patents are trivial and the three companies are all leaders in their respective fields.

The alliance is expected to intensify competition with Apple, which has been the leader in terms of both hardware and software. Google, which sold its Motorola mobile phone division to Lenovo, opted not to sell related patents.

The CEOs of Samsung and Apple are scheduled to meet soon to seek to resolve their differences by Feb. 19 as ordered by a U.S. court. The latest alliance is expected to work to Samsung's advantage in the court battle.

englishnews@chosun.com / Feb. 07, 2014 11:48 KST