Samsung and Google have signed a sweeping deal to license their patent portfolios to each other, covering both existing intellectual property in addition to patents filed over the next ten years. United under Android, the two companies haven't really been seen as litigation threats to one another — but with this deal, the threat drops considerably more.
Samsung's Seungho Ahn says "Samsung and Google are showing the rest of the industry that there is more to gain from cooperating than engaging in unnecessary patent disputes," a pretty clear shot at Apple, which has been locked in patent suits for years with Samsung and Motorola Mobility (predating Google's acquisition of the manufacturer). Google's Allen Lo takes the same tone: "By working together on agreements like this, companies can reduce the potential for litigation and focus instead on innovation."
"Samsung and Google are showing the rest of the industry that there is more to gain from cooperating..."
For Google, the deal could have particularly broad implications considering its ever-growing reach into hardware: Glass is expected to move to wider availability at a lower price soon, Chromecast has been a hot seller, and rumors of a Nexus set-top persist. Clearly, Samsung has a slew of helpful hardware patents on-hand.