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Android, wearable tech to get boost from Google-Samsung patent deal, analysts say

Loek Essers | Jan. 28, 2014
But whether it is going to do anything for Samsung's disputes with Apple remains to be seen.

Because those new areas will probably spur plenty of new innovations, any company that tries to enter those markets could very easily be in trouble without cross-licensing agreements, he said.

Samsung also entered into a cross-licensing agreement with Ericsson, the companies announced Monday. The deal covers patents relating to GSM, UMTS and LTE standards for both networks and handsets, ending all ongoing patent-related legal disputes between the companies.

Both the Google and the Ericsson deals can be seen as a peaceful way for Samsung to prepare to enter new markets, Saadi said. Eventually these kinds of deals are also going to benefit consumers, because companies are going to invest more in innovation instead of busying themselves with litigation, he added.

However, the analysts were not convinced the cross-licensing deals with Google and Ericsson were a sign that Samsung is on the verge of settling its patent disputes with Apple. Samsung has been locked in numerous lawsuits over mobile patents with Apple for years and in one of the U.S. lawsuits it was ordered to pay about US$930 million in damages to Apple.

Apple shipped 33.8 million smartphones in the third quarter of 2013 and had a 13.5 percent market share, according to Canalys figures.

Apple has been trying to defend its intellectual property as much as possible, and is likely to keep doing that instead of striking a license deal, said Coulling. "I don't think Apple will stand down overnight, because it feels it has been unfairly treated by Samsung," he said.

Apple is also looking to protect innovations to be able to keep charging a premium for its products, he said. "And for Apple to protect their margins they need to ensure that their intellectual property stays within their company," he added.

However, the deals Samsung struck show that it is a company that can come to a reasonable settlement, Wood said. It might be totally coincidental though that the announcements of the Google and Ericsson deals followed each other closely, but it is not going to hurt Samsung to show that it has intellectual property that is worth cross-licensing and that it is prepared to sit around the table to hash out a deal, he said.

 

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