In an effort to reduce legal battles over patents surrounding the massive Android ecosystem – which includes Google’s contributions, as well as third-party hardware manufacturers – Google has announced PAX – short for “Android Networked Cross-License Agreement.”
It’s a community license that “covers Android and Google Applications preinstalled on devices that meet Android’s compatibility requirements.” That means that member organizations will grant licenses to one another without charging them any royalties. Given that over 4,000 Android devices were launched last year, it seems like this is a necessary step in the right direction.
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The program is free for any company to join, and includes nine members at launch, which hold a total of 230,000 patents worldwide: Google, Samsung, LG, HTC, Foxconn, Coolpad, BQ, HMD Global, and Allview.
Hopefully, that will see firms working on Android fight a little less often in court over who gets paid for the use of various technologies on the platform. Most famously, Oracle took Google to court last year over claims that the search giant used Java APIs to build Android, and lost the case.
You can learn more about PAX at its new site.