MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (Legal Newsline) -- Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and search engine giant Google announced Monday they have signed a global patent cross-license agreement.

The agreement covers a "broad range of technologies and business areas," the companies said in a joint statement.

Allen Lo, deputy general counsel for patents at Google, said the agreement will reduce the potential for litigation and allows the companies to focus instead on innovation.

The deal covers the two companies' existing patents and those filed over the next 10 years.

"We're pleased to enter into a cross-license with our partner Samsung," Lo said.

Dr. Seungho Ahn, the head of Samsung's intellectual property center, called the agreement "highly significant" for the technology industry.

"Samsung and Google are showing the rest of the industry that there is more to gain from cooperating than engaging in unnecessary patent disputes," he said.

With the agreement, Samsung and Google gain access to each other's industry-leading patent portfolios.

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