Tech giants Google and Samsung have announced a global patent cross-license agreement.

The move signals a long-term partnership with the agreement covering a 'broad range of technologies and business areas'. It is expected that Google and Samsung will focus on the mobile side of things.

"We're pleased to enter into a cross-license with our partner Samsung," said Allen Lo, deputy general counsel for patents at Google. "By working together on agreements like this, companies can reduce the potential for litigation and focus instead on innovation."

The agreement covers all existing patents but will also include any filed over the next 10 years. See also: New smartphones to expect at MWC 2014: What will Samsung, Sony, LG, HTC and Nokia launch?

"This agreement with Google is highly significant for the technology industry," said Dr. Seungho Ahn, head of Samsung's intellectual property center. "Samsung and Google are showing the rest of the industry that there is more to gain from cooperating than engaging in unnecessary patent disputes."

Smartphone and tablet makes have been engaging in expensive lawsuits frequently over the last few years, typically over alleged patent infringements. Samsung and Apple has been the classic battle in recent times with both firms managing to get its rival's devices banned in various countries.

Samsung said the move will pave the way for "deeper collaboration on research and development of current and future products and technologies." It didn't mention anything about Apple or the iPhone but it will no doubt be in a much stronger position in the future thanks to Google. The more patents the better.

Apple is currently claiming that Samsung's top-range Galaxy smartphones copy the iPhone's features and the pair is due to meet next month for mediation.

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