A long-term agreement has been made between Google and Tencent to cross-license patents on a range of products, technologies and more. The US company have made the move alongside the Chinese tech group – who are said to dominate the internet market in China with gaming, social media, shopping and more – where many of its products are not currently available.
The agreement will allow both companies to access the others patent portfolio and will mean no lawsuits between the two companies can occur as they are not allowed to sue. This factor is said to have been included in order to speed up development in both countries by eliminating legal risks. Google and Tencent also held out the potential for future technology collaborations, but neither company disclosed financial details of the arrangement.
“By working together on agreements such as this, tech companies can focus on building better products and services for their users,” said Mike Lee, Google’s head of patents. Sam Xu, deputy general counsel and head of intellectual property at Tencent, added: “We are pleased to advance the collaboration between two leading technology companies.” Chinese companies are big holders of international patents.
According to data from the World Intellectual Property Organisation, Chinese inventors made 43,000 international patent applications in 2016 and the country is poised to become the world’s largest user of the international patent system.