This Samsung and Google Deal Could Burn Apple

Samsung and Google form an alliance against Apple with a new 10-year patent agreement.

Jan 27, 2014 at 6:00PM

Samsung last night announced a strategic alliance with Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) that involves a 10-year global patenting agreement with the search giant. This is an important partnership that covers both existing patents and those filed over the next decade. Moreover, the deal could have far-reaching effects on mobile patent disputes, especially those related to Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).

Google Glow

Source: The Motley Fool.

Patent wars
It's no secret that Samsung and Apple have been locked in years of litigation over their respective smartphone and tablet technologies. However, this deal will give Samsung and Google a key weapon against their tech rival in ongoing and future patent battles.

Cross-licensing Samsung's Galaxy smartphones and tablets with Google's Android system gives the two mobile tech giants a stronger defense against patent infringement charges. Google's deputy general counsel for patents, Allen Lo, said, "By working together on agreements like this, companies can reduce the potential for litigation and focus instead on innovation," he said in a press release.

After years and billions of dollars spent on patent disputes with Apple, it's refreshing to see Samsung find common ground with at least one tech titan. In a press release, Samsung said it hopes this agreement with Google will open the floodgates for other industry players (hint, hint... Apple) to cooperate with their peers instead of "engaging in unnecessary patent disputes."

However unnecessary as these disputes may be, Samsung is hardly a victim when it comes to patent politics. It was Samsung, not Apple, that was forced to pay more than $1 billion in damages to the other in 2012 after a jury ruled that Samsung had infringed on various patents for Apple's devices. Following the court's verdict that year, Apple had this to say about its adversary:  

The lawsuits between Apple and Samsung were about much more than patents or money. They were about values. At Apple, we value originality and innovation and pour our lives into making the best products on earth. We make these products to delight our customers, not for our competitors to flagrantly copy. We applaud the court for finding Samsung's behavior willful and for sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn't right.

This was one of the biggest U.S. patent trials in history. However, future patent suits may be avoided, or at least settled out of court, thanks to deals such as Samsung's new agreement with Google. Samsung has also inked similar agreements with other tech and mobile companies including Microsoft and Nokia. For Apple, on the other hand, Samsung's latest 10-year treaty with Google could ultimately make it more difficult for the iPhone maker to challenge those two companies over mobile patent infringements in the future.

A smarter way to play the smartphone revolution
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Fool contributor Tamara Rutter owns shares of Apple and Microsoft. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Google. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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