PAX: Google brings “patent peace” for free software
In an effort to stop patent trolls, the Internet giant decided in April 2017 to unite the protagonists of the IT ecosystem under an innovative cross-licence agreement.
Named after the Latin word for “peace”, PAX License is A Google’s initiative focusing on the protection of intellectual property for free software. The agreement establishes a royalty-free community whom members got privilege of the free use of their patents across their network. Therefore, the PAX License has the ambitious role of promoting patent peace and stopping the legal threats in terms of intellectual property.
PAX is based on voluntary, opt-in and open to anyone initiative.
Under the agreement which covers both Android and Google Applications, members grant each other’s royalty-free patent licenses on qualified devices. PAX’s nine initial partners are currently Google, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Foxconn Technology Group, HMD Global, HTC, Coolpad, BQ and Allview. Although the exact number of patents owned by these companies is not yet precise, it is estimated at 230,000 global patents.
Members wish for more companies and therefore, more patents to join the PAX umbrella. If so, the number of protected patents is about to be dramatically increased and the companies will save quite some money from unwanted IP lawsuits.
Despite PAX’s ambitious project to “create more freedom to innovate”, many critics suspect Google’s aim to ultimately get the most profits of it. We will remain sceptic to see if PAX will have better results than its predecessors, hoping that the consumer won’t be the one who will pay for this stricter patent protection in the end.