Google has announced Pax, a new licensing agreement group for patents across Android devices, in hopes of reducing infringement claims and helping smartphone manufacturers fight patent trolls. The group members include prominent Android smartphone manufacturers; Samsung, LG Electronics, Foxconn, HMD Global, HTC, Coolpad, BQ, Allview and, of course, Google are part of the group.
Google is calling it ‘Pax’, which means peace in latin, in the hope of creating some peace around patents and licensing terms. The Pax website describes the group as “royalty-free community patent cross-license”, which will cover Android and Google Applications that are pre-installed on Android device.
This is a “community license because all members grant licenses to one another on a royalty-free basis, thereby promoting patent peace within the Android ecosystem,” explains the website for Pax. According to Google’s blogpost with patent peace, there is space for innovation and healthy competition, which will benefit users.
Google’s Android is already an open-source OS, with licenses being free for all manufacturers or anyone really. Google says it has over 400 partners manufacturers in the Android ecosystem with over 4,000 major devices being manufactured in 2016 alone.
Google’s Android, which has over 1.6 million active users, has also surpassed Windows as the most used OS for the internet. Now Google believes PAX will expand the open-nature of Android, and ensure that time and money is not spent on patent wars.
PAX is not the only initiative Google has taken to stop some of these patent fights. In the past it has participated in the LOT Network and the Open Patent Non-assertion Pledge. The latter was developed by Google to fight patent threats around open source software.