In the bid to reduce patent litigation, Google has introduced new agreement called PAX, that aims to reduce patent infringement woes. All the member who sign up for PAX, essentially allows others to use their patented property for free. Google feels that this free sharing of patents will notably reducing lawsuits, create less trouble for device makers, and give them more time to focus on innovation.
PAX means peace in Latin. The agreement which is officially named Android Networked Cross-License Agreement, aims to build a ‘patent peace’ among device makers. Often many companies are found making money through just patent lawsuits because of violation of intellectual rights. This often could lead to a long trial, leading to loss of money and time in process. PAX aims to ensure all firms working with Android freely share their patents with each other, free of cost, without any worry of lawsuits.
PAX founding members include Google, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Foxxcon Technology Group, HMB Global, HTC, Coolpad, BQ etc. the member collectively own more than 230,000 patents world, which is huge for starters. The PAZ’s Agreement fine print is unknown, so what these companies actually sign up for isn’t very clear at this point. This could presumably be beneficial for major conglomerates like Samsung and Foxxcon, but for small companies, who survive on their new innovation, may not want to give it up for free.
Google on other hand believes that just like how Android is open sourced, patents of manufacturer who uses the operating system, should also be shared freely. Google notes that the Android ecosystem has grown to include more than 400 partner’s manufacturers and 500 carriers who have produced more than 4000 major devices in the last year.