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IBM and Samsung announce patent cross-license agreement, we pray for a z196-based Galaxy Tab

Darren Murph

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The dirty details are few and far betwixt, but IBM and Samsung have just joined up to announce a patent cross-license agreement that could have significant impact in the world we obsess with. According the (admittedly brief) release embedded after the break, the two will license their respective patent portfolios to each other, but considering that specific terms and conditions are being kept under wraps for now, it's on us to imagine what kind of magic will result from the agreement. Of course, the patent portfolios for each of these companies is staggeringly vast -- covering everything from mobile technologies to semiconductors, and just about everything in between. We're told that the deal will allow each company to "innovate and operate freely," and to use each other's patents to keep pace with the rapid expansion of technology. Is a 5.2GHz z196-based Galaxy S just months away? A boy can dream, can't he?

[Thanks, Peter]

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Samsung Electronics and IBM Announce Patent Cross-License Agreement

SEOUL, South Korea and ARMONK, N.Y., - 08 Feb 2011: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today 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 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 Dr. Seungho Ahn, Executive Vice President and Head of the IP Center, Samsung Electronics. "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, Patents, Software & Services IP Licensing for IBM. "In addition to protecting the huge investment we make in R&D, patents also allow us 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 U.S. patents, respectively. IBM has been the leading recipient of U.S. patents for 18 consecutive years.

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Coverage: Bloomberg
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