Google and Cisco have signed a cross-licensing agreement for each others patent portfolios. The long-term agreement, which is said to cover a "broad range of products and technologies," is said to help both companies defend themselves from future patent infringement lawsuits as well as preventing the two companies from suing each other.
Allen Lo, Deputy General Counsel for Patents at Google, claims the agreement with Cisco "will reduce the potential for litigation, letting us focus instead on building great new products." The sentiment was echoed by Dan Lang, Cisco's Vice President of Intellectual Property, who said "In today's overly-litigious environment, cross-licensing is an effective way for technology companies to work together and help prevent unnecessary patent lawsuits."
The terms of the agreement were not revealed by either company, so the number of licensed patents remains unknown. It does mirror a similar deal recently performed by Google with Samsung, which allowed each side access to a number of the other company's patents. Similar statements were also made over the threat of litigation, with Dr. Suengho Ahn of Samsung's Intellectual Property Center claiming the companies "are showing the rest of the industry that there is more to gain from cooperating than engaging in unnecessary patent disputes. "