Google signs patent licensing agreement with Tencent

Google signs patent licensing agreement with Tencent

Alphabet's Google has agreed to a patent licensing deal with Tencent as it looks for ways to expand in China where many of its products, such as app store, search engine and email service, are blocked by regulators. The cross-licensing deal is meant to minimise the possibility of ligation over patent infringement, allowing both companies to access each other's patent portfolios.

The agreement is a typical industry arrangement between corporations created to minimize patent infringements, with the USA company signing similar deals with Samsung Electronics Co. and others.


The companies gave no details on the scope or nature of the potential cooperation but said in a joint statement that they "are open to deeper collaboration in the future on innovative new technologies".

In China, Tencent is a major player through its WeChat social media platform. While many of its services remain blocked, the USA company is rebuilding its presence in the world's second-largest economy by sharing its artificial intelligence software tools and ramping up investment through projects such as a new research base. Google effectively withdrew its search services from China in 2011, citing a suspected cyberattack and resistance to self-censorship regulations as its motivation. In December, Google invested $120m in Chinese live-stream gaming app Chushou, which offers similar live streaming services to those of Google-owned YouTube. The Chinese firm made numerous deals a year ago, including investments in Snap and Tesla.

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