Samsung Electronics and IBM have announced a patent cross-license agreement, under which the companies will license their respective patent portfolios to each other.
Specific terms and conditions of the agreement were not disclosed.
Over the past several decades, IBM and Samsung have built strong patent portfolios covering a wide range of technologies including semiconductors, telecommunications, visual and mobile communications, software and technology-based services.
This cross-licensing agreement enables the two companies to innovate and operate freely while using each other’s patented inventions to help keep pace with sophisticated technology and business demands.
The companies say the co-operation fostered by cross-licensing reinforces their ability to provide better products and services, while maintaining their competitiveness.
“This licensing agreement will help both companies expedite innovation and achieve business growth by providing each company access to the other's patents for basic technologies,” says Dr Seungho Ahn, executive vice-president and head of the IP centre at Samsung Electronics.
“We also hope the agreement will open new opportunities for wider collaboration between two of the leading innovators in the technology industry.”
Ken King, vice-president: patents, software & services IP licensing for IBM, comments: “Patents and innovation are a critical component of IBM's high-value business strategy. In addition to protecting the huge investment we make in R&D, patents also allow us to establish cross-licenses, which provide IBM and partners like Samsung with significant freedom of action, which is essential in the competitive global business environment.”
IBM and Samsung topped the list of the world's most inventive companies in 2010 as the first and second recipients of US patents, respectively. IBM has been the leading recipient of US patents for 18 consecutive years.