Samsung clinches patent deal with Cisco

By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, Feb. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. said Thursday it has agreed with U.S. networking firm Cisco Systems Inc. to share their intellectual properties and avoid patent disputes.

Under the latest cross-license agreement, Samsung and Cisco will share their existing patents as well as those obtained over the next 10 years, allowing the two industry leaders to tap into deeper research and development.

"By cross-licensing our patent portfolios, Cisco and Samsung are taking important steps to reverse the trend and advance innovation and freedom of operation," said Dan Lang, Cisco's vice president of Intellectual Property.

Ahn Seung-ho, who heads Samsung's Intellectual Property Center, added the agreement is expected to result in mutual growth and benefit customers around the world.

Last month, Samsung had clinched a similar deal with U.S. Internet giant Google Inc., a step which is anticipated to give Samsung a much needed edge in an ongoing patent war, especially with U.S rival Apple Inc.

Samsung and Apple have been in settlement talks over their patent battle in the U.S., with the two told by a court to reach an agreement by Feb. 19, although it still remains uncertain whether the two will be able to do so.

Samsung, like others in the industry, has been targeted for lawsuits from non-practicing entities (NPEs), which earn or seek to earn the majority of their revenue from licensing or enforcing patents.

The South Korean tech giant had 38 cases filed against it in 2013, ranking fifth in the number of patent suits filed against tech firms by NPEs, the data by U.S.-based market researcher Patent Freedom showed.

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