IBM, Samsung Sign Patent Deal

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2011-02-08 Print this article Print

IBM and Samsung announce a patent cross-license agreement.

Two giants of the patent world have come together to do a patent deal-IBM and Samsung.

IBM and Samsung Electronics 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, which was announced Feb. 8, were not disclosed.

IBM and Samsung topped the list of the world's most inventive companies in 2010 as the first and second recipients of the most U.S. patents, respectively. IBM has been the leading recipient of U.S. patents for 18 consecutive years.

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 said the cooperation 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," said Seungho Ahn, executive vice president and head of the IP Center at Samsung Electronics, in a statement. "We also hope the agreement will open new opportunities for wider collaboration between two of the leading innovators in the technology industry."

"Patents and innovation are a critical component of IBM's high-value business strategy," said Ken King, vice president of Patents, Software & Services IP Licensing for IBM, also in a statement. "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."

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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